The news was received with tremendous joy by chef Matteo Metullio and his colleague Davide De Pra, both overwhelmed by the announcement. «Three years ago I made a decision for my family's sake and together with Davide, who's by my side since our time at La Siriola, we set on this path – Metullio said during the online award ceremony – We are business partners, friends, colleagues and this second star is his too. It also belongs to all our staff, all the people who believed in us, first and foremost the owners Alfredo Rubino and Alex Benvenuti, and my family who's always here to support us in such a demanding job».
Metullio and De Pra formerly teamed up in the kitchen staff at La Siriola, a restaurant in San Cassiano (Bolzano) which gained its two stars during their stay there. But then Metullio decided to move back to his hometown, Trieste, in order to spend more time with his family and started working at Harry's Piccolo along De Pra almost two years ago. And the move finally paid off! They got the first star in 2018, when working also with chef Alessandro Buffa.
The Michelin Guide describes Harry's Piccolo as a fascinating and comfortable place, with a relaxing atmosphere, and the two chefs as being creative and highly competent. As Metullio and De Pra say, theirs is a “chilometro vero” cuisine (literally “true kilometer”, in contrast with the recent trend of “zero kilometer” meaning ingredients only come from the surrounding area) in a constant quest for quality. One of their signature dishes is the "Harrysotto”, a very special risotto including plancton in its ingredients!
Considering how hard the Covid-19 crisis hit catering businesses in 2020, and not only in Italy, Michelin Guide's 2021 selections are meant to be a motivation for those still standing as Marco Do, Head of Communication Michelin Italy, outlined: «It's been a peculiar year, Italy somehow managed to move on and restaurants struggled to stay open through difficult circumstances. So why not honour who tried to go on, against all odds?».
All the Michelin Guide stars in Friuli
There's only one other two-starred restaurant in Friuli Venezia Giulia and it's been so for nine years in a row, now. It's Agli Amici in Udine, led by chef Emanuele Scarello, an historic location flaunting a 130 years-long tradition and run by the original founders' offspring, the fifth generation!
And there are six restaurants with one Michelin Guide star all over the region: La Taverna in Colloredo di Monte Albano (Udine), Trattoria al Cacciatore-della Subida in Cormons (Gorizia), L'Argine a Vencò in Dolegna del Collio (Gorizia), Osteria Altran in Ruda (Udine), La Primula in San Quirino (Pordenone) and Laite in Sappada (Udine).
To gain the Michelin Guide stars, restaurants must meet five standards: ingredients' top quality, the chef's personality, mastery of cooking tecniques, good value for money and a long-lasting high level of the chef's performances. In Italy there are an overall 371 Michelin-starred restaurants, 11 of them have three stars and 37 have two.
Here below: the video capturing the moment of the revelation, posted on Harry's Piccolo Facebook page