Here, at Black Barn, we take great pride in more than just our dishes but in our impeccable staff.
It’s through a combination of their stories, expertise, and passion that sets us apart. It impacts our atmosphere and adds the pinch of ‘love’ we miss from mom’s home cooking. One to note → is our excellent Executive Chef Matteo Bergamini. Join us as we get more familiar with his roots and explore some of his favorite dishes.
North Italy, in Toscolano Maderno on Lake Garda.
When you were a child, who cooked for you? What was your favorite thing to eat as a kid?
My mom and grandma used to feed me and sometimes also my sister. My favorite dish from my mom was veal ravioli in a red wine broth; from my grandma it was pieces of butter dipped in sugar; from my sister it was a cooked ham mousse.
Do you remember the first time you realized you wanted to be a professional chef?
Yes, I was probably 13 years old making pumpkin ravioli with my mother.
What was your first job in the service industry?
I was 15 years old in a restaurant not too far from where I live in Italy, Lido’ 84 restaurant in Gardone Riviera.
How long have you been a chef?
20 great years.
Where were you trained?
I’m still getting trained! But mostly in Italy with a little experience in France.
Do you cook at home? What is your family like?
Unfortunately I only cook at home on Sunday, otherwise my wife Dayna takes care of the family. When I do, I like to cook with my kids. We prepare grilled pork ribs with fried platano and we are very into tacos.
What do you consider your biggest challenge in the kitchen?
Managing my workers! You never know what is in their mind and you are constantly in their hands!
What is your favorite food to cook?
Grilled pork ribs or braised beef cheeks.
What is your comfort food?
Pasta and pizza.
What is the philosophy behind your cooking? What, for you, is the purpose of a professional chef?
Use the freshest and greatest ingredients to make the best dish.
What do you think your influence has been over the food at Black Barn?
I probably can say that is an Italian influence. By this I am not saying that we are doing “Italian food” but that I am trying to keep the clean flavor of the dish without using too many ingredients.
How do you occupy your time when you are not cooking? What do you do to relax?
I try to spend all my free time with the family, wife and 2 kids. If we can call it that, it is also my time to relax.
What is your favorite dish on the menu at Black Barn and why?
I am debating between the BBQ ribs and the braised pork shank. Both very rich in flavor and cooked the way I love it! Slow!