Where does the border that separates architecture from cuisine begin? Antonello Colonna, the award-winning Roman chef, has managed to merge both under the same roof, in his Resort & Spa in Labico

Born in 1956 and with a curriculum that includes experiences all over the world, Antonello Colonna is one of the pillars of Italian cuisine. His gastronomic career began in 1985 with the management of the family restaurant in Labico, Rome. The restaurant Antonello Colonna was the first of a long series of activities which then led him to open the Golden Tree in New York and to become chef of the Italian national football team during the 1990 World Cup.

Finding a definition to describe the personality of Antonello Colonna is almost impossible. He is, undoubtedly, an internationally renowned chef, but he is also an entrepreneur, an artist and a “cooking anarchist”, as he is often recognized.

However, he himself usually distances himself from these conventional labels, because the rules are too narrow for him and he shows it in his cooking and in his idea of ​​beauty. Thus, the worlds of art and architecture emerge in the lines of the dishes and in the Antonello Colonna Resort & Spa di Labico, a place that reflects the originality of the chef.

La Porta Rossa opens the frontiers of traditional home cooking

A definition that Antonello Colonna himself reiterated throughout his career. The cuisine that he begins to offer in his first restaurant in Labico is the meeting of Roman tradition, with the flavors of the past revisited from a contemporary perspective to meet the new palate of the public. It is precisely the Red Door by the architect Luigi Maria Parisi that is installed at the entrance to the venue that becomes the symbol of what, in a short time, will become a point of reference at a national level.

Success lies in the simplicity of taste. This is the factor that brought chef Colonna to the kitchens of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and to the coordination of the Priceless Milan project during the 2015 Expo in Milan. In 2007 he took over the reins of the Open Colonna and La Porta Rossa moved to an exceptional setting: the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome.

The first contacts begin here with what will be the fusion of gastronomic and artistic culture that will make the chef's projects unique. In a roof garden overlooking the city, designed by the architect Paolo Desideri, the doors of the new frontier of hospitality open.

Antonello Colonna Resort & Spa

The flagship, the culmination of Antonello Colonna's career, can be found in the Antonello Colonna Resort & Spa of Labico. A studied and sweaty project, desired by the restaurateur chef with body and soul. A combination of catering and hospitality, the result of years of experience working in the sector and the passion that has never abandoned the overall vision.

The resort is located in the Castelli Romani area, in the Labico natural park. A context that for Colonna smacks of family and nature. The twelve suites with vegetable garden and garden can make use of the services offered by the wellness center and the thermal pool; the signature restaurant of chef patron Antonello Colonna crowns the experience. The style of the structure recalls minimalist Nordic architecture with clean lines and is the work of architect Francesco Aniello who with this project redevelops the territories surrounding the capital by rethinking their functionality and hospitality.

The alternation of glass, concrete, metal and wood walls is a game that invites you to pursue different textures, as well as a reference to the surrounding landscape. The five tunnels arranged on a rectangular base host various services and the area dedicated to the restaurant, while the free spaces between one block and another are areas used for outdoor activities. Everything is designed to be modified and adapted according to the needs of the moment; nothing is static, one could almost say that the structure is alive.

Art and the value of time

“The narrative, be it that of a book, a dish or a work of art, takes time. Time for history and, above all, time for listening." This is the thought of Antonello Colonna and this is the philosophy that moved his every step up to where he has reached today. The most important points of the journey are contained in a single sentence: from literature to art, obviously passing through cuisine.

The Antonello Colonna Resort and Spa was also designed as an exhibition space to enclose the cornerstones of the chef's activity in a single building. The temporary exhibitions thus welcome guests in the external spaces or internal rooms, embellishing an environment that is well suited to becoming a museum space.

Art is also reflected in his dishes, real blank canvases painted according to the inspiration of the moment, referring to historical essays and local raw materials. Antonello Colonna is the emblem of contemporary cuisine where disciplines cannot live separately and come together to give life to what can be considered a new artistic current: gastronomic art.