In collaboration with Mulino Dallagiovanna
“Pastry Bit is a new concept where the methods are simplified in favor of saving time, energy and quality of life for the pastry chef. It is no longer the pastry chef who adapts to pastry making but vice versa” it is with these premises that Mulino Dallagiovanna created the Pastry Bit Competitiona competition aimed at pastry professions, designed to select the face of the company in the world for the 2024. The initiative in its first edition adds to the competition dedicated to professional pizza makers, the Pizza Bit, now in its second edition this year.
For 2024 the face of the company will be that of a boy from the province of Ravenna: Luca Rubicondo thirty-seven years, is from Solarolo and is a son of art. He works in the family business, la Rubicondo Pastry Chef, but has gained various experiences abroad, between France, Australia and the United States. His first gym was undoubtedly the one with his father.
“I have graduated as a mechanical expert, my father also sent my brothers to technical studies because he didn’t want us to forcibly stay in the family business, which almost all of us would have done anyway. So I moved the first ones in the home laboratory. I had my first significant training experience with Gino Fabbri, I remember going to visit him with my father, almost twenty years ago, and telling him that I would like to do an internship in his laboratory. At the time the training courses were not advertised as they are now, for me it was lucky to be able to gain experience from him. Thanks to him I had the opportunity to travel, work in different contexts, and test myself. Every now and then I came home, collided with reality, and left again. For years I travelled, returning close to the Christmas campaign to lend a hand and in January I left again. I would also like to mention Riccardo Antoniolo, who was crucial for me, he really opened my mind”.
In the first phase of the finals you amazed the jury with a donut burger. I know that this wasn’t a one-off experiment. When did you get the idea to revisit your proposal’s appearance?
“During the forced stop period of covid. Unfortunately and fortunately I add. Having time for myself and having to look for solutions certainly had positive implications. Right around that time, looking around, I noticed that one of the few things that worked was take-away pizza. And from there I thought of creating a dessert that reproduced the appearance of pizza as faithfully as possible, but in a sweet way”
Are you telling me that you had never attempted similar preparations before?
“I had already done a little something, due to my attitude I am someone who struggles to always propose the three chocolate Bavarian cream, I get bored. I have always liked experimenting. At that time I was trying to differentiate myself, I wanted to give visibility to my ideas, aware of the fact that having a family business known for a super traditional offering, especially in a small provincial town, would have been more complicated. I launched without worrying too much about the response. I didn’t have the slightest idea how this would be received by customers. Initially I intrigued them but I certainly can’t say there was a queue out the door.”
I imagine that proposing such radical reinterpretations of tradition, at least in appearance, could be destabilizing within a company anchored to tradition. How did your father take it?
“Generational dynamics are often animated by clashes and misunderstandings and we too have had ours. Initially he was convinced I was wasting my time. After winning this competition he didn’t celebrate me but he understood that that time was instrumental in achieving a result.”
Solarolo is among the municipalities hit hard by the flood, were you able to restart?
“Yes, with a thousand difficulties. Just a month ago we fixed the equipment that was worth rearranging, while we had to replace the older ones. Today we are 90% operational, and even a little more serene than a couple of months ago when the prospects were anything but encouraging. We always wait for them to remember us, while we have worked hard”.
“The victory was a huge surprise for me. I had the opportunity to indulge my creative side and present my preparations. Which I continue to do in my pastry shop, every week I propose preparations that I consider original, but I work in a small provincial town, my micro audience was starting to get tired of cutlets, meatballs and sweet versions of pizza. Broadening my horizons and dedicating myself to this new adventure honors me, and I’m sure it will bring new stimuli and ideas”.