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Italian cuisine is not only offering quality food and holding high the banner of Italian creativity, it is also transmitting Italian Culture and Traditions abroad. We interview Alessandro Tinti who intended to open a high quality restaurant in the heart of the Thai capital.
We don't decide the place to be born. But we do decide the place to work and live. Based on this basic assumption, how did you choose to live and work in Bangkok?
My arrival in Bangkok was more fortuitous than intentional. The first time I set foot in Bangkok I swore I would never go back; too much chaos, too much smog. Then a childhood friend opened a dairy right here and suggested that I manage a point of sale in Soi Ruam Ruedi. I was looking around, Brescia was a bit narrow for me and I wanted a change. We started talking about the project in 2016 and from a simple store it turned into an Italian food store with an attached restaurant. So the adventure started in 2017. Then -you know- Bangkok is a bit like quicksand, the longer you stay there, the more it absorbs you.
Trattoria Delina is your "creature" in the form of a restaurant. But - as we all know - this still means "making Culture", giving voice and representation to its people, to its History, to its experience in Time. What is the philosophy behind Trattoria Delina and according to which principles does it intend to offer Italian and Mediterranean culinary "knowledge" to the customers of Bangkok and Thailand?
To be precise, Trattoria Delina is the second version of the restaurant we opened, whose name was Gourmè Italia. Unfortunately the relationship with the partners was soon strained and so the change of ownership took place, but the spirit remained the same: to bring the philosophy of the Italian "trattoria" to Bangkok. Often the food and especially the Italian restaurant is associated with "fine dining". We are going in a more "homey" direction, where the atmosphere is relaxed, you can breathe a provincial air, the Italian province that is present in all of us and that we all know well. A joke in dialect, in front of a plate of pasta simple but cooked with top quality ingredients and passion. A menu that includes typical dishes from almost all the peninsula with weekly arrivals of fresh raw material. The selection of wines is really interesting and above all the prices are competitive. I must say that at the beginning foreign customers were reluctant towards us because they expected the classic Italian "fine dining", with impeccable service and "posh" environment ... then over time they were won over by the quality of the dishes and the simplicity of the atmosphere and now we have 90% of Thai customers who say they feel at home and this is the greatest satisfaction because it was what we had proposed from day one. They are also beginning to understand something about wine and are more and more open to experimentation, so much so that two weeks ago we opened DELINA TAPAS & NATURAL WINE where we offer Italian Tapas (our cicchetti) and Spanish Tapas, all accompanied by a selection of natural wines that are now very popular in Italy.
Based on your personal experience, how have you been received by the community of Italians in Thailand and by the Thai community where you now work professionally?
I must say that I have been very fortunate because during the months of renovation of the restaurant I opened a blog called "Il Farang" which allowed me to tell with written articles and photographs my Bangkokian days. This has created a small community of Italians and Thai lovers of Italian culture with whom I am still in contact. In addition, thanks to my friend Jacopo, a cheesemaker, I have come into contact with many restaurateurs who use his products. I must say that the integration was quick, even if in a city like Bangkok you always feel a bit lonely, both for the distance and for the diametrically opposed culture. I come from the province where, to see a friend, it was enough to walk two steps to the bar in the square. Here, days go by without seeing each other and often people are just passing through, you need to have a special character to appreciate all this.