DAY 1 of 2 / Chapter 1 of 7 – Italy
Milan – 0 km
9:00 – Pavé – 27, Via Felice Casati
Our first encounter is with Diego, Giovanni and Luca, three avid world-travellers. Their motto is: “Stay at home, come to Pavé”.
Pavé is their creation. It’s a place, a dream, a home. This old-fashioned bakery has its kitchen on display. Diego explains: “We furnished Pavé so that it looks like our living rooms, everything down to the colour of the walls and the handy swing arm lamps that enable our guests toread their favourite books in comfort”.
And he’s right. We feel like we’ve been catapulted back to one of our friend’s house in the 1970s. We go up to the mezzanine and take a seat on a classic park bench. There are wooden boxes for tables and vintage objects such as an old record player and letter boxes dotted about.
Diego studied at a catering institute, as did Giovanni, who learnt the art of sourdough bakery in San Francisco, whilst Luca is a journalist. Three different personalities whohave come together and created a cosy meeting place where traditional products are created with skill and mastery. They have a close-knit team of young staff, who run, knead, take things out of the oven, greet guests, give advice, and listen.
We ask the staff to recommend a few different pastries.
It brings joy to our eyes and bliss to our taste buds as they bring us hazelnut croissants; custard croissants; croissants made with 160% apricot; pastry plaits half coffee and half original flavours; tarts; and kipfel.
The flavours are indescribable. We’re overjoyed.
Pavé is always packed. There’s never a lull in the crowd, but the way it’s laid out means you feel at home, and free to read a newspaper or work on your laptopin peace.
Luca: “Pavé is like a space that can amplify flavours and give value to your time.”
But how are these treats produced? We follow Giovanni into the kitchen. Here, Pavé’s close-knit team creates every delicacy by hand, whether it’s savoury or sweet.
Giovanni: “We believe that control of the entire lifecycle of a product represents a new mark of quality, and the only way to fully embrace the concept of artisanship. Here, we produce everything in the name of natural yeast.”
Everything takes shape in the kitchen. There are people kneading dough, tossing dough, putting trays in the oven… It’s clear that their motto is true: “We knead everything with our own hands. We check everything is as it should be with our own eyes. And we can tell you everything that happens in our kitchen. Every moment.”
Pavé balances tradition and modernity with the belief that a flavour isn’t enhanced through the number of ingredients used, but through their quality.
A kitchen with principles and philosophies like this can’t produce anything less than culinary masterpieces.
Pavé also produces biscuits, as well as many other foodstuffs. Their packaging is refined and simple – old-fashioned – in perfect Pavé style, like the aroma of baking bread combined with the sweet smell of pastries.