Gemma Boeri from Trattoria da Gemma, hidden in the small village of Roddino, knows what slow food is all about. I found this restaurant thanks to the blog of Venturello Francesca, an Italian from the Piemonte region who apparently loves good food and Da Gemma. A couple of steps up, in a simple room, crammed with tables and chairs and a terrace with a view of the hills aorund Roddino you will taste the real food of the Langhe area. No tourists on a Saturday night but rather tables full of Italians among friends who come for the laid back atmosphere and the home cooked food.
At Da Gemma you do not choose your food, you get what the ladies in the kitchen prepared that day. As an appetizer, we get two huge pieces of sausage on a cutting board, self-service, along with some freshly baked bread. A large carafe of house red, self service too, is also put on the table. Then the famous carne crudo is served, fresh raw meat, a favorite in this region. Gemma’s legendary salad Russe is next: with little mayonnaise (home-made) and lots of eggs. Vitello tonnato, sliced â€‹â€‹veal with a velvety tuna sauce comes next, chased by a home-made pasta with ragu sauce (meat with tomatoes). Gemma makes her pasta every Tuesday for the rest of the week. Secundi is rabbit and another stew with pork and two desserts later make you almost roll down the stairs back to a quiet, moonlit street. Fortunately we get stopped by a glass or two of grappa and some strong coffee. All for 26 euros per person, wine, water, liqueur, coffee and lots of ambiance included.
On the wall are pictures of Gemma as a younger self, each with prominent figures holding her tight. When the son of Gianni Agnelli, owner of Fiat, got married, he asked Gemma to cook. On the Agnelli Borromeo party no Michelin chef was invited, it was Gemma who decided what the VIPs ate. Because chefs like Gemma know what it is all about: real food, even better than slow food, who knows.