È la storia
di una squadra

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“Don’t overthink it, if it’s tasty and inexpensive, it’ll already be phenomenal”*

Big Mamma is 2 Frenchmen and 238 Italians—with an average age of 26 years—who ask themselves every morning how they can create the best, most convivial Italian restaurants in Paris.

* A brilliant man at East Mamma, whose name we don’t remember, just a few weeks before opening.

La storia in dettaglio



Tigrane (the blonde) and Victor (the dark-haired one):“Since our childhood and since traveling through Italy, we must have eaten in dozens of cities, in hundreds of trattorias. We were dragged to them when we were little and returned to them of our own volition later on. And we’ve visited an incalculable number of farms and agricultural holdings. We love the fuss-free products these places produce, and we love the people who make them”. That’s where Big Mamma comes from : from trattorias popolare. One day in Naples,  at Pasqualie Giordano’s house, Tigrane and Victor met Pasqualie’s cousin Ciro, the youngest of the Cristiano family, and a prodigy trained in his family’s kitchen on Corso San Giovanni. He’d been making pizzas at Pasqualie’s place since he was 12 years old, standing on an old plastic crate to be able to reach the wood-burning oven. Then came Ramon, aka El Gordo or sometimes even just Jambon, who, with his Spanish—almost Italian—accent, immediately conveyed the will and effortless skill of a guy who clearly knows how to handle a room. And then there was Enrico, then Lello… and this motley crew started to become a real team. Ciro brought his brother and a few other Neapolitan cousins. Ramon brought his legendary smile. We opened our first restaurant, Mamma Gorda, in the south of France. Here, we developed all the dishes ourselves and got our bearings in the dining room. But in the end, Mamma Gorda was just a warm-up; things started to pick up quickly. That was in April 2015.

 

 

And then we told ourselves that we were going to open our first restaurant in Paris. Except that, the reality was that there were already loads of quality Italians doing their thing in Paris. So the question became: what more can we bring to the table ? And we realized that there was something that didn’t exist yet: a 100% Italian trattoria, with products brought fresh from Italy, and a 100% Italian staff. So, we had a truck drive up from Italy three times a week, loaded with ingredients from our producers in Europe’s boot. We had an old-school machine brought in so that we could roast coffee ourselves. We started making our own pasta. And we rented 20 apartments in which to house our team. We opened East Mamma on April 3rd at 12h15. And to our surprise there was a line of people waiting to get in. Turns out that making super traditional fare with super traditional Italian good humour and gusto was just what people were looking for.

 

 

Italian cuisine is super broad and varied, and we’ve always this irresistible desire to explore its depths. That’s how we opened Ober Mamma : by having fun creating a cocktail list laced with Italian liqueurs and by having a massive wood-burning oven brought in for our Neapolitan pizzas and epic lasagnes. And at opening, there were already people waiting to get in. But there was one thing we weren’t doing yet, and that was fresh, authentic Italian dough. People don’t realize it, but making fresh dough is intricate work that takes a huge amount of time. But we finally found the perfect location for it, brought some pasta-making cognoscenti up from Italy, and Mamma Primi, with its primi piatti, was born. Les Batignolles is a super family-oriented and intimate neighbourhood, which is probably why Mamma Primi fit in so well. Not long after, Jean-Charles from Rose Bakery told us he was selling his location. There was no hesitation. We love places that have killer karma and we knew we wanted to use the space to create a real Italian caffè. Like everyone, we love brunch, and so we made our own… with an Italian twist, of course. We decided to keep this caffeine-fuelled space open all day, every day. For six months, we worked with the best mills in Italy to create a gluten-free pizza more airy and toothsome than any other. When we knew we’d finally hit on something awesome, we opened, and the Marais welcomed us with open hearts and open arms. Sometimes we get asked why we open restaurants. We’re a group of nearly 240 Italians in Paris who thrive on having a good time, day and night, in super welcoming locations, while serving food and drink to appreciative guests. When we have the opportunity to create new places—to see people fall in love with a new ambiance and super authentic dishes—we jump in with both feet.