When creating your restaurant, you get to decide on the cuisine and the approach. There are no definite rules to what you can and cannot do. Food in general continually evolves as ingredient prices rise, cultivated produce changes, and people in kitchens experiment. While there is this degree of freedom for fusion and localised cuisine, it cannot be denied that people look for authentic restaurants. It is especially true regarding cuisines that have been adapted and often changed to suit local taste.
Italian food is one of the most imitated types. So, how do you create an authentic Italian restaurant? The definition depends on the person, but here are three things that remain universal in maintaining an authentic experience:
Hire a chef trained in the cuisine
Authenticity is when people get to experience the food of a place exactly how they prepare it. There are no changes in the recipe to accommodate available ingredients or local customers. To get this flavour, do not just look up recipes online. Hire a chef who has the most amount of experience with Italian food.
If you can find an Italian chef who is also trained in that cuisine, then the output will most likely be like what people eat in Italy. You should try to find a person who has close ties to the culture. At the very least, hire a chef who is trained in the cuisine and has experienced Italian food from the source.
Source the best ingredients
Now, Italian food is about close attention to ingredients. Produce from Italy is unique and cannot easily be replicated because of the volcanic soil and unique climate. For produce, try to grow it yourself or find the freshest your grocer can offer. For other ingredients like bulk olive oil or processed sausages and meat, try to import these ingredients.
Replicating the flavour to the best of your abilities mean preparing food as if you are in Italy yourself. Italian chefs used essential condiments and processed food from the country over centuries to perfect their craft. If you can, find a recipe to do on your own or find a substitute for it in your location.
Avoid gimmicky decorations
Since Italian food is a favourite, you cannot deny that you have been in your fair share of Italian restaurants. It is easy to distinguish those which are authentic and those which try to follow the fame of the cuisine. Avoid gimmicky decorations that scream Italian. Mini flags on the table, a poorly made mural on the roof, or a fake trellis with grape vines give off the impression of a stereotypical movie representation of a rich culture. Research about the small details and keep things simple.
While authenticity is hard to achieve, try your best to deliver the best experience. Even if you fall short, you have done everything to the best of your abilities. You know you have reached your goal when the authenticity title is attached to your name without complaint.