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Joe Bastianich

text Martina Olivieri

October 6, 2022

Joe Bastianich presents his American Barbecue

Joe's American BBQ arrives on the first floor of the Mercato Centrale in Florence

The Florence Central Market brings the truest and most authentic American culinary tradition, Joe Bastianich's American Barbecue, to the city for the first time.

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Joe's American BBQ brings "low & slow" cooking to the first floor of the Mercato Centrale, a tribute to the most authentic traditional culture of the United States of America. "After the pandemic, I decided to bring the best of American food to Italy. Behind Joe's American BBQ there is great product research, respect for tradition, precise techniques and a lot of commitment,' Joe tells us. In fact, barbecue is not just a simple way of cooking, but a real lifestyle, capable of uniting and telling the story of the American territory from west to east.

Bottega American Barbecue al Mercato Centrale Firenze

The secret lies in the cooking. It must be rigorously slow and, consequently, very long - up to 16-18 hours for some cuts. Only then does the meat acquire its characteristic 'crunchy & tasty' crust, crispy and flavoursome, which envelops the soft, succulent interior.

"This adventure arrived in Milan a year ago, and was very well received by the public. Here in Florence there is a much more international market, it is a great opportunity to bring American food to Florence because from here you can reach the whole world, it is an international marketplace, we are very proud to be here,' continues Bastianich. Compared to the Milan shop, there are two important novelties. The first concerns the menu, which for the first time in Italy includes - next to the classic BBQ degrees such as brisket, pulled pork and beef ribs - the smash burger: a special cooking technique for the patty, the meatball, which is crushed with a weight during cooking so that it is both crispy and succulent. The second novelty is on the upper floor of the shop, where there is the Vineria Bastianich with wines from the family's cellars: those of the Cantina Bastianich, founded in 1997 and consisting of 27 hectares of vineyards all on the Colli Orientali del Friuli, and the bottles produced by La Mozza, the wine cellar immersed in the splendid setting of the Tuscan Maremma, in Magliano.

Terrazza American Barbecue al Mercato Centrale Firenze

Joe has in fact been very attached to Tuscany since his childhood: 'I lived in Montalcino, this is where my love for wine was born, I am still very attached to it. Then I went back to Friuli to my family, to Trieste, to start my career as a producer. After a short time I returned to Tuscany because Tuscany is the excellence for red wines, and putting myself on the line here was a choice I wanted so much. Now I have been producing wine here for almost 20 years, initially it was exported to America and now we are also targeting the Italian market with La Mozza'.

Winery American Barbecue al Mercato Centrale Firenze

In the coming months, Bastianich is also ready to increase his offer and to bring not only 100% US-made meat but also purely Tuscan dishes to Florence: 'I can certainly tell you in advance that I want to propose a completely different but really delicious Fiorentina!

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