Today I am very happy to introduce you a nice, loving and talented Italian chef: Marta Belli.

Marta has been living in France for many years and it’s in this beautiful country that she decided to become a chef and learn all the skills about this, I would say, fascinating job.

After a degree in pastry and several work experiences, today Marta works in a restaurant in Paris and she is also concentrating her efforts on a new, personal project

Let’s discover more about it in my interview to her.

marta belli Italian gluten free cook

Chiara: Why gluten free?

Marta: I discovered having celiac disease 12 years ago and that completely changed my life. Today I feel much better about it and most of all, thanks to it, I discovered a whole new world of ingredients and flavours.

Chiara: If you didn’t discover it, would you still be interested in becoming a chef?

Marta: Yes, I love cooking since I was little. It brings me back my childhood memories that I deeply cherish: making cakes for the family gathering on Sundays, when my mama used to put me in the caddie during our grocery shooping…I still remember the day she couldn’t do it anymore and I have grown up and didn’t fit inside anymore! My grandfather and father had always cultivated their own fruits and vegetables. I grew up with simple but glorious fresh foods. I love when cooking marries tradition and simplicity. I think that part of our being an adult is to look for that joy we experienced as children…cooking brings me back that joy.

Chiara: What’s your biggest challenge?

Marta: I think that my biggest challenge has just become: opening up my own restaurant. But also when I decided to give up university to become a cook; I had to start everything from the beginning. Today I work in a restaurant and I do enjoy it. I am learning how to manage one: actually a chef works with his body but also with his head ; to create a dish he has to think about which ingredients and suppliers, the costs, the transportation and then, of course, a good dose of creativity !

Chiara: Do you have a mentor?

Marta: Not really but I do have a good friend. When I worked at the Atelier des Lilas in Paris, I met with Giulia Guarini, an Italian chef and cook. Giulia helps me a lot, when I get lost, she always helps me find my way. I cherish our friendship a lot.

Chiara: What’s your favourite gluten free dish?

Marta: An Italian dish typical of Tuscany, the region where I come from, and that my mum makes all the time: the “gnudi” of ricotta. I am testing the recipe over and over as I would love to add my personal touch to it. I am not there yet but I am working on it.

Chiara: Last year you were chosen by the famous brand Schar to do a Gluten free Food Tour of Italy! By the way I loved following your adventures. What’s in your opinion your favourite gluten free restaurant?

Marta: For the gluten free pizza, it is Acqu’e sale in Sorrento, not far from Naples and as a restaurant it’s Hidalgo close to Bolzano. I liked this restaurant so much that I went back there three days in a row! Their homemade ravioli were divine and so the artisanal ice cream.

Chiara: Gluten free is…

Marta: Surprising! Cooking gluten free made me discover new ingredients and great tasting food. I think that we just need to stop comparing it with gluten: it’s different and it is good !

pS To discover the fantastic Baci di Dama tarts that Marta made especially for Baci di Dama, have a look at her recipe right here.

Marta Belli

To follow Marta’s gluten free adventures,
have a look at her Instagram page

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