A fresh wind is blowing over Luca Pronzato. Seated on the terrace of a café in the gardens of the Palais-Royal, a felt jacket over his shoulders and a lock that bars his eyes, the young rising figure of culinary events, just 29 years old, seems to appreciate the effervescence crowded terraces, the agitation of the waiters and the time of rediscovering restaurants. It must be said that this trained sommelier, whose parents still run an Italian grocery store in rue des Petits-Champs, a stone’s throw away, never really stays still.
With the reopening of borders and the – almost – free movement of people and leaders, the brains of the gastronomic collective We Are Ona was able to resume part of his activity where he left off. In this case, in one of his many culinary adventures, on the roof of a hotel, in Mexico City. Because since 2019, and the launch of what he likes to define as “A curation agency for restaurants and chefs”, he excels in a specialty of his own, constrained for a time to immobility: opening ephemeral restaurants in incredible places all over the planet.
The trigger came to him while he was still working indoors at Noma, the three-star restaurant of the Danish René Redzepi, a true global gastronomic laboratory providing talent: “There, I was in contact with more than 40 different nationalities and origins at each service. When I left, I wanted to keep this bond that had been created and continue to connect with as many chefs as possible. I needed to feed on their respective cultures, to travel around the world – while staying in the restaurant business. “
A few months after his departure, his project matured. He mobilizes his address book, recalls his former cooking partners, develops a menu with them and joins forces with a beach restaurant in the suburbs of Lisbon to give birth to a first pop-up which he calls “Ona at”. the beach ”. We have, like the “wave”, in Catalan – a new wave, refreshing and unifying, which is about to sweep through the culinary microcosm.
Very quickly, the mayonnaise sets. The teams are formed, the book of reservations is filled and, for three months, the local clientele responds to the meeting. Beating the iron while it is hot, he transposes the concept at the same time in Switzerland, in a former water tank in Basel, in the middle of a contemporary art fair.
Back in France, he imagines a restaurant in an individual’s apartment, perched on the roofs in the heart of Paris, then another in Zermatt, in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Luca Pronzato is on the right track. In the space of a few months, he multiplied his collaborations and the opening of ephemeral restaurants which all followed the same model.
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