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Chef Antonia Klugman Creates Seasonal Dishes for Customers

Updated: Feb 12

Photo Source: Diggtia It

Antonia Klugmann grew up with two grandmothers that cooked Italian dishes. One was Sicilian and the other Neapolitan. Her background is Italian and Ukrainian Jewish. When she was attending law school, she took a few pastry classes at a culinary institute in 2001. After that she decided to become a chef and leave law school.

Her parents were disappointed but believed she would succeed because she was determined and ambitious. She worked in the kitchen as a dishwasher, intern, kitchen assistant, cook, and chef. Antonia started working at Harry's Grill and trained under Chef Raffel Mazzolini for four years. He taught her culinary skills and creativity. Eventually she traveled in Italy learning about how regional dishes were made.

Due to a serious car accident in 2005, she was unable to work for about one year. During this time, she grew vegetables, fruits, and herbs in her own garden. She learned about local ingredients in Italy and how to use them in cooking. During this time, she decided to open her own restaurant. She purchased land to build a restaurant in the future.

Photo Source: Venicewalk

In 2006 she opened the restaurant Antico Foledor Conte Lovaria at the age of 26 with her partner Romano De Feo. She worked at this restaurant for six years. When it closed, Romano supervised the building of the second restaurant L'Argine a Venco while Antonia worked at Venissa a restaurant and wine resort on Mazzorbo Island for two years.

L'Argine a Venco received one Michelin star in 2015. The restaurant has a vegetable and herb garden on the property. The dishes she creates reflect her Italian/Jewish heritage. Antonia creates new recipes every season and often changes recipes adding new ingredients. She tests recipes three times before serving and often takes 3 months or longer to come up with new dishes.

Some of the dishes she has created at her restaurants are chicory ravioli with fig, lemon and greens, mussels, chard, and wild fennel, boiled pork belly with rosemary, and sweet and sour radicchio and licorice. At L'Argine a Venco she designed the layout to have a limited number of tables, uses local suppliers, and strives to have minimal waste. She collects some of the herbs for cooking from local field and forests.

Photo Source: Diggtia It

During the pandemic Antonio developed a home business that delivers food to customers in the provinces of Udine, Gorizia, Trieste, and Collio. She developed online videos on how to cook or finish the dishes at home for customers. When ingredients are not available, she will change the recipes. She does not repeat the same dishes from season to season or year to year.

Antonia has to purchase vegetables from November to March due to not owning a greenhouse. Her dishes are influenced by regional recipes and ingredients. She says today's chef have more freedom and are not confined to just cooking traditional recipes. What we lack is time and what I need to create new recipes are time and space.

Antonia Klugmann is a popular Italian chef in Italy and continues to grow a customer base by creating new dishes in her restaurant and opening a local food delivery services and store. She uses wild herbs, herbs and vegetables grown in her restaurants garden to create new recipes for her menu.

Photo Source: Wix Media

Photo Source: Wix Media


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Antonia Klugman, Fine Dining 2017

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Great Italian Chefs Antonia Klugmann

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