It was clear that it was a visceral matter. But that in less than a decade the Varvara family would become the demiurge of Italian starred marbling, this was perhaps not imaginable.
And yet, since 1852 and now entering its fifth generation, the Varvara butchery, located in Altamura, a city best known for baked goods rather than meat, has managed to bring to the gourmet forefront of great starred restaurants’ tables meats such as Murgia lambs, Podolica cows and black pigs. Named after his grandfather, Michele Varvara, after a degree in chemical engineering in Trento and a long collaboration with Professor Alberto Molinari, which resulted in a PhD in Scotland and years spent wearing a lab-coat as a researcher at San Michele all'Adige's Agricultural Institute, decided to revolutionize his life and go back to his roots. Going back South, together with “brothers in meat” Vincenzo and Alessandro, meant giving life to a dream originated from their fine dining experiences: introducing haute cuisine to the incomparable flavour of the meats of their homeland, carefully selected thanks to their intimate and deep knowledge of the farms and breeders of Apulia and Lucania, where the animals live in a semi-wild state and are fed according to nature.
Thus, Varvara products needed to come out of the anonymity of a simple town workshop and enter the world of conscious cuisine, aware of the nutritional, flavourful and economic values which a cut of meat can hold – not so simple anymore. But how? On July 25th 2016, during a charity event in his own Apulia, Michele Varvara got the serendipitous chance to prepare his lamb for some of the greatest exponents of fine dining: Enrico Cera, Corrado Assenza, Davide Scabin and Enrico Crippa, for whom he later became an official supplier, for his three-Michelin-starred restaurant Piazza Duomo. From then on out, the road was paved with stars: from northern to southern Italy, today all the greatest chefs crave the meats of Michele Varvara, newly appointed Master of Arts and Crafts for Butchery.