We are talking about Verona’s greatest chef and the restaurant that is the symbol of Verona’s gastronomic tradition. Giancarlo Perbellini and the 12 Apostoli restaurant (vicolo Corticella San Marco, in the alleyways of the historic city centre), a destination that has always been chosen for special occasions and dinners with a high “Veronese flavour”. The surplus of gastronomic experience has crossed paths with one of the best chefs: chef Perbellini, two Michelin stars, has left his ‘Casa Perbellini’ – ‘Home Perbellini’ – in Piazza San Zeno (a small restaurant with just a few tables, an open kitchen and a gourmet menu) to move to one of the temples of Italian catering where Perbellini himself took his first steps as a chef in 1984.
A story of food, love and passion all from Verona. The soul of 12 Apostoli has always been the histrionic Giorgio Gioco (who died in February four years ago), with his white chef hat and ever-ready dialect poetry, a true icon for all the Veronese people. In 1984, Chef Perbellini took his first steps at a very young age in what was then considered one of the most prestigious and innovative kitchens, a starred restaurant as early as 1958 when the coveted award – Stella Michelin – was first given in Italy. Returning to that place is for Giancarlo Perbellini (he runs eleven restaurants throughout Italy) an honour and a plunge to the heart. Verona’s dolcevita now has a new masterpiece, from July will once again be the scene of memorable lunches and dinners but also of encounters between personalities who have written local history.
The new 12 apostles. To the founder, Giorgio Gioco, chef Perbellini will dedicate the ‘Millefoglie di gorgonzola, celery and black truffle 12 Apostoli’, a reinterpretation of one of his dishes, a symbolic connection with the well-known Millefoglie (a must-have dessert from Verona). The restaurant will also undergo a major architectural restyling, in line with the ‘Casa Perbellini’ concept, including a room for private events. Excited Antonio Gioco, figlio di Giorgio, heir-patron of the 12 Apostles, “Let a new, historic, “apostolic” project begin. It will be our friend Giancarlo’s turn to open our old door, creaking with memories he will represent with indispensable solidity, genius, amused commitment, authentic passion and sensitivity. He began very young in our kitchen, to return today as a master, putting himself back into the game with the enthusiasm that only special people are capable of keeping intact throughout an extraordinary career”.
Not just food, but also ancient history and culture. In addition to the gastronomic experience, not to be missed is the immersion in history that is hidden in the 12 Apostoli cellar: excavations that reveal frescoes from a sacred temple dating back to the first half of the 1st century AD, a section of a Roman road and the foundations of a medieval tower house built with large marble boulders that once formed the third ring of the nearby Arena. Jealously preserved by the Gioco family are also drawings, caricatures, memorabilia and the collection of pens of all the cultural bigwigs past and awarded the ‘International 12 Apostles Prize’.