As promised, we were able to sit down with the owner of Fiat Cafe, Stephane Iacovelli, to get some quick insights into this awesome little eatery. I’d like to thank Stephane’s mother for instilling the love for food in her son so that he can bring her amazingly delicious recipes to the world!
Tell me a little about yourself, where are you from, where did you grow up?
I was raised in a small suburban city near Paris known as Drancy, but my parents are Italian, so I got their Italian mentality along with a French education.
What were/are your influences when it comes to food?
My main influence when it comes to food, I would have to say, has been ever since a child, watching my mother constantly cook.
How did you get into the restaurant business?
I got into the restaurant business by wanting to bring the inspiration my mother gave me, farther.
What led you to create Fiat Cafe, and what is your goal with this restaurant?
I created Fiat Cafe to try to give people a taste of the food that my mother showed me that I fell immediately in love with.
What drives the menu? Where did you learn/find your recipes?
I learned the recipes from my mother, and family ingredients.
What are some of your favorite places to eat when you go out for a meal, either in NYC or elsewhere?
In NYC, my favorite place to eat would be Bar Pitti, down in west village.
Name a dish most reminds you of home?
Carvatelli with broccoli
Any advice for amateur cooks looking to get more serious about a career in food?
I would have to say, like everything else, just keep at it, and if it’s what your interested in, to take it to the next step.
Thanks again to Stephane for taking the time to answer some questions for our humble blog and becoming the first of hopefully many food-related interviewees.
On a side note, I made my way to Fiat Cafe once again yesterday and enjoyed another exceedingly fresh and delicious meal. I always try to order different things, because if a restaurant is truly great, they’ll succeed with every dish, not just their specialties. I ordered the burrata with tomatoes and basil and the linguine fini with baby clams and pancetta.
And succeed they did. The burrata and tomatoes were at the peak of freshness, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil enhanced the already bright flavors. There are few things better than a perfect orb of burrata.
Except the excellent execution of a bowl of linguine alle vongole. As the bowl was placed before me, I could smell the distinct aroma of the sea emanating from the steaming clam shells. The pasta, as always, was perfectly al dente and the clams we tender and juicy without a hint of fishy funk. Large slivers of pancetta added a necessary salty kick and the generous garlic chunks took it over the top. It’s going to be hard to order something new after that. See you soon Fiat!
P.S. Coffee panna cotta with strawberry sauce FTW! Thanks Stephane!