Victor Ravdive reveals secrets to running an exceptional restaurant

Victor Ravdive reveals secrets to running an exceptional restaurant

Nestled in the City’s bustling Threadneedle Street, you’ll find Piazza Italiana.

Housed in a magnificent Grade II-listed building, the setting is both opulent and intimate – the ideal venue for serving top-notch Italian food and drink.

To find out more about Piazza Italiana, we sat down with the man behind it all: CEO, Restauranteur and Executive Chef, Victor Ravdive. Here, Victor talks inspiration, must-try dishes, and shares his secrets to running an exceptional restaurant.

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Please, talk us through your chef journey. How did it all begin?
My primary role is being a restaurateur for all my restaurants and being an executive chef is the second. It all started at the SHMS Swiss Hotel Management School, which is in the Top 10 Schools for hospitality management in the world.

Sometime after graduation, I opened my first restaurant in Riga, Latvia and then within the next 10 years I opened more than 30 different food and beverage concepts before we expanded to London with Piazza Italiana.

It was all going in parallel: I was learning how to successfully manage restaurants at the same time as I was learning how to cook. I was in control of all the menus I had in my restaurants. I was implementing experience and knowledge from world best chefs, as well as learning from the staff who worked for me.

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What inspires your cooking?
The most amazing thing about cooking is that it never stops its development. Every year you have new trends, new cooking techniques. Industry develops very fast and is very diverse.

Also, you have so many cultures and products coming from many different countries that this is something you will never reach. There is no chef who could try all the techniques and all the products throughout their whole life.

Piazza Italiana is your first restaurant in the UK. Why did you choose to first open in the City?
We conducted our research before COVID-19, the situation and general image of the hospitality in the City was completely different to what we have right now. Even after all the restrictions being lifted earlier this year, the area still hasn’t got back to the pre-COVID normality, and I think it still has a long way to go.

The location is good and the building itself is simply amazing. Luckily, it was a restaurant before us, so it has saved us a big chunk of the budget on the restructuring and building from scratch.

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Talk us through the venue. What character does the building, the former British Linen Bank, a Grade II-listed building, give to the eatery?
It is a super multifunctional and charming building! From an operational point of view the venue is wonderful: we have spacious the Banking Hall, which is used for everyday dining from breakfast to dinner, two private dining rooms – Ante Chamber and Mezzanine; as well as the Mezzanine Hall for regular dining and drinks and which can be hired for private events too.

What three dishes must diners try when they visit Piazza Italiana?
Tuna Tartare, Tagliolini Al Tartufo (hand spun in a pecorino wheel at your table) and Crab Ravioli.

What is your personal favourite dish on the menu?
Since I started cooking, I have never had a favourite dish in any of the restaurants. I am always keen on inventing something new, looking for new tastes and if you find something worthy, you fall in love with it until you come up with something new again!

What is the secret to running an excellent restaurant?
The only answer is precise attention to detail. If you are not paying enough attention to the smallest details, you will never be a successful restaurant.

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Do you have any exciting events, menu changes or plans for the future at Piazza Italiana?
Our menus are changing every season reflecting the top seasonal ingredients from the market. We are also planning a few themed events in the future, such as Bottomless Brunches on Saturday and many others. When it comes to the implementation and the launch, we still have to consider the current business situation in the City and the footfall and nowadays it is impossible to predict anything, therefore some of the major ideas are kept on hold before the situation is stabilised completely.

38 Threadneedle Street EC2R 8AY

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