Nicola Batavia - Ristorante L'Birichin Torino
Cookery Classes Italy Taste Trails Rome : Food Heroes
“I’m a lucky man, one who turned his passion into job and he does it everyday as enthusiastically as the first day. I’m an Italian cook, a chef who treasures the quality of food and the sophistication of the dishes.”
NICOLA BATAVIA • CHEF
A Few years back Taste Trails Rome cookery classes Italy organised a visit to Turin for Bord Bia - The Irish food food. This was a trip for a group of Irish food entrepreneurs., food producers , artisans and restauranteurs. The whole idea of the trip was to try and inspire through showing them how their counterparts in Italy , primarily Turin were doing things, what was trending there in terms of news ideas, packaging and branding etc . The four day trip included visits to the Terra Madre Salone del gusto - The Slow food showcase , the Slow food university , Eataly and Caffè Vergnano, - the up-market coffee roasters and we spent one special afternoon and evening in the company of Nicola Batavia in his wonderful restaurant - ‘L Birichin .
I had previously only spoken to Nicola via telephone explaining who we are , the reason we would be in Turin and what we where trying to achieve for the group. Nicola was overjoyed , completely enthused by the idea and immediately invited us to his restaurant for a private cooking lesson. On arrival in Turin his restaurant was our first port of call and his warm welcome for a group of around sixteen into his relatively small kitchen that included both him and his five chefs was a both a joy and a masterclass.
Nicola spent the next two hours cooking only two dishes , explaining in great detail the simplicity of the dishes , the level of care needed to achieve absolute maximum taste, in this case from the very simple ingredients of only pasta, tomato , basil , garlic and fine extra virgin olive oil, exquisite. His kitchen was like an operating theatre , he only had to hold out his hand and one of the other chefs handed him instinctively a knife , spoon or whatever was needed. The kitchen was run like clockwork, it had to be, you don't get to earn a Michelin star without such attention to detail.. ( He later gave up his star ).
As we all tasted the finished dishes , Nicola went around the group asking what they each made or did and he passed on his experience and ideas to them with such generosity and feeling.
That evening we returned for dinner and Nicola had prepared a special tasting menu with accompanying wines for the group. As each item was served Nicola appeared from the kitchen to explain in detail exactly what we were eating and all about his chosen wines which incidentally came from his own private cellar.
The day with Nicola at the L'Birichin was a delight and an inspiration - exactly the thing we were hoping for and much more besides !
Nicola Batavia ( Born Turin, May 3, 1966) is an Italian Chef. He had his first work experience while attending the Hotel School in Turin when, thanks to the skills he had learned from his teachers, he gave baking lessons to his fellow students during their school trip to Amsterdam.
Following one of his teachers’ suggestion (a man famous all over the world for his well-known snack, the Fiesta Ferrero), Nicola moved to London for a summer job in a Spaghetti House restaurant.
He stayed in London for 6 years. He refined his English, he went to College and became a great fan of design, so much so that later in life he would teach classes about this subject in University.
After a small break back to Italy for the military service, he returned to England where he kept on working with the most important restaurants in London.
At 21 he moved to Thailand for a culinary partnership promoted by the English restaurant where he was working and discovered the oriental flavours and fragrances.
At the end of the 90’s he came back to Italy. Immediately after his return he opened with a partner the restaurant Le tre Galline; he specialised in Piedmont cuisine while working for two Michelin star restaurants near Asti.
In 1993 he finally opened his own restaurant in Turin, ‘L Birichin. and with in few years he had opened 3 other restaurants in Turin, which were all completely different from each other: the Nicomangia, Le Putrelle and the Bistrot.
Between 2002 and 2004 he attended courses held by renowned Michelin-starred chefs in both Lyon and San Sebastian. In 2006 he was selected as the official chef for the Winter Olympics in Turin.
In the same year he also received a Michelin Star, renowned international award then refused in 2008, because in the opinion of the chef that such recognition is much more tied to the appearances and the formalism of the restaurant, rather than to the quality and the essence of the foods. This unconventional choice didn’t slow down the professional growth of chef Batavia.
In 2008 and 2012 Nike chose him as the official chef for The Olympic Games in Beijin and London, where he cooked for international sport stars like Maria Sharapova and Michael Phelps. In 2009 he became the first Italian chef holding a cooking and gastronomic culture course at the Qatar University of Doha, one of the most important university in the Persic Gulf. After a while, he also held a Masterclass about Mediterranean cooking at the Westminster College and University of West London.
In 2009 he went to China for a professional consulting, then he visited Seoul and South Korea as an official chef for Pasta De Checco. Again in 2009, he was called as a consultant for the opening of a restaurant in Casablanca, Morocco.
In 2011 he opened “Casa Batavia”, his restaurant in Notting Hill, London,
His London involvement today includes consulting as an executive chef in prestigious Mayfair for which creates signature dishes with their own name.
Since 2013, Batavia has been World Ambassador Chef for Lavazza.
In March 2014 Nicola opened next to the Birichin, The Egg – As simple as an egg with a gourmet bistro menu entirely dedicated to the egg, it is also a 'one to one' cooking school, an exclusive venue for public events, private , business and more. It was so successful that in July 2015 The Egg moved to the EXPO Milan, in the pavilion of biodiversity.
At Some point Taste Trails Rome cookery classes Italy will return to L'Birichin , it is a special place with a special person , Nicola Batavia.
In the mean time if you like the idea of visiting Turin , then go there yourself , you are sure of a warm welcome and wonderful food , Turin is a fine city. If you can't make it there then why not come and experience for yourself a warm welcome , fine food and wine and a beautiful place to stay with Taste Trails Rome cookery classes Italy , in Sabina , N of Rome.
We run the cookery classes Italy through out the year from March to November for both 4 night long weekends and week long cookery classes.
Nest stop for Taste Trails Rome Cookery classes Italy, Sabina and its world class Extra Virgin Olive Oil