I go to and get invited to a lot of events in Rome.
But today I had the pleasure of being a part of something really special.
Roman with Umbrian origins, Fabrizio Lupi worked as a brand manager and in corporate marketing for years. But from a young age had a passion for food and cooking. So he walked away from his career and started Casa Fabri. Basically he offers services as a private chef and last weekend started the first of a series of events “Casa Fabri incontra i terrazzi romani” (Casa Fabri meets Rome’s terraces) and you can guess what this entails: great food, great view (at €25 per person).
Today I attended the second installment at a private home on Rome’s Janiculum Hill (Gianicolo, right behind Trastevere).
And so on a sunny November Sunday, my friend and I headed to Pia’s house (a friend of Fabrizio) for a home-cooked lunch with 45 strangers.
When I saw that the event page on Facebook closed a few days beforehand because of interest beyond capacity, I knew we were in for a treat – and in fact, around 40 people had to be knocked back. I hate to be rubbing it in right here, but they really missed out on something!
For a start, the terrace was simply gorgeous. The view stretches out from Gianicolo to San Giovanni, the Aventine and Ostiense’s gasometro (old gasometer) and on a blue skies, sunny autumn day, provided the perfect backdrop for what was to come.
Chef Fabri warmed our taste buds straight up with mini crumbed eggplant balls and fresh tomato bruschette.
Then came two types of quiche. One with curried zucchini and the other with mushrooms and kale.
Then only another two main courses!
Meatloaf (polpettone) served with a decadent chestnut sauce and roast potatoes. And finally the roman classic of chicken and roast peppers (pollo con peperoni). Fabri’s passion translates to his food and he has a great knack for combining flavors.
Those with a sweetooth like myself were treated at the end with gelato from Otaleg (gelato spelt backwards) – Marco Radiconi’s gelateria which he opened a couple of years ago after learning from one of Rome’s best, Claudio Torcè). Today it was cachi (persimmon) and ricotta and chocolate.
Oh and there was beer and wine on tap! In fact, Birradamare – a Fiumicino based craft beer producer were kind enough to offer beers to match the food and while I’m not a beer drinker, the chestnut beer paired perfect with Fabri’s meatloaf and chestnut sauce.
I got to chat with Fabri briefly in between his carving meatloaf and stirring risotto. He is passionate, determined and humble.
He said the objective for the time being is to continue doing what he loves and just riding the wave.
I like this guy. Because, like me, he walked away from his day job to follow a dream. For me, people like this inspire you to dream and drive me to keep working hard at my own!
I wish Casa Fabri every success and will be watching closely as, for now – it takes on one roman terrace at a time! I can tell his journey is about to take him places.
Signing off from Trastevere,