Origin of Elio Locanda
The flavour of Grandma Luigina’s cooking in Calabria, at the foot of Italy, and her hospitality: these twin elements form the foundation of Elio’s cuisine. One cannot exist without the other.
Luigina, of course, is the grandmother of Elio Orsara who founded the restaurant that bears his name in 1996.
With 13 children of her own to feed and countless relatives, Grandma Luigina had to be a good cook. She went two better as she evolved into a gourmet chef and ran her very own locanda, local restaurant.
You can imagine how the local populace felt whenever they visited this neighborhood establishment. It was like returning home and delighting the flavours of mother’s cooking...
Just picture this: families and relatives having the most marvellous time sitting around the big dining table set outdoors. Children, for once, quietly eat second and third helpings, their moms and dads and uncles and aunts savouring every delicious moment. There’s happy banter, playful pats on the back, cheerful kisses all around. When you have food this good and company this wonderful, it’s paradise on earth.
This was how my grandmother's locanda was like. A "home" for everyone, a warm place where people can eat to their hearts content, laugh till they cried, embrace each other and feel close to one another.
In the Japan of today many people from around the world have found, and keep coming back to, their own home away from home: Elio Locanda. Restaurateur Elio and his staff feel a certain frisson, and their confidence goes up a notch, whenever customers say, "Yes, this is the taste of home!"
And so to those among you who will partake of Italian food for the first time, we promise authentic Italian flavours and a great time. Welcome home!
Concept of Elio Locanda
Good meats and a dazzling variety of fishes and other types of seafood abound in Tokyo. To everyone’s good fortune, it is easy to find and stock the right cooking ingredients in Japan's capital.
The well-established distribution system virtually guarantees the availability of a bounty of fine produce every day.
However, finding good vegetables can be a challenge.
You simply cannot underestimate the importance of choosing good vegetables when re-creating authentic Italian taste.
One more consideration: you need spices to add flavour to food. And they have to be used properly at the right amount, the right combination, and the right timing. Happily, Southern Italy boasts unique spices that are now available in Japan... but, of course, only at Elio.
The biggest challenge of all is to create food with the same taste as in Italy and to do this day in and day out, day after day, consistently.
It may surprise you that it doesn’t take a lot to "localize" Italian cuisine.
Chances are, food prepared by a chef who lives in Japan and is accustomed to cooking delicious Japanese food with available ingredients will be serving such cuisine before anyone realises it.
Even an Italian cook has to persevere not to forget genuine Italian flavours.
You should also be cautioned that “traditional” taste can evolve through the years due to changes in the natural environment and worldwide trends in food and beverage.
Just like in Grandma Luigina’s locanda, there are a couple of stone steps and a heavy wooden door at the entrance to Elio Locanda in Kojimachi.
As soon as you step in, you almost instantly feel like you’re somewhere in Italy. Elio Locanda aims not only to satisfy your appetite, but also to have you meet people here who will warm your heart.
It will be the beginning of a beautiful story, set somewhere near an Italian piazza, and produced by the staff of Elio Locanda.
- The entrance to Elio Locanda
- Elio's awards and distinctions
- Inside the Elio Locanda
- Carefully selected ingredients
- Friendly and professional staff of Elio Locanda