chiara pavan chiara pavan


By Lavazza Team 2/3 minutes

Treasures from the Venetian Lagoon on your plate, with its unique, intense flavours and aromas. Through her culinary identity, Chiara Pavan illustrates the deep connection between earth and nature, with real authenticity.

An avid reader and expert on herbs and the fermentation process, after studying philosophy at the University of Pisa, the chef made the decision to dedicate herself fully to the world of eco-gastronomy and subsequently graduated from ALMA, the international school of Italian culinary arts.

Following a lifelong passion for cooking, her creations centred on an immense respect for the land and its natural wonders. Having witnessed how the lagoon suffered in recent years due to the effects of climate change, the chef was driven to establish her own limits, only using vegetables from her garden on the island or from nearby vegetable gardens, with only four or five invasive species, and local flours, which are much more complicated to work with.  Chiara Pavan’s concept of environmental cooking represents a distinctive trait that has seen her achieve numerous accolades, including a Michelin Star and a Green Michelin Star for the restaurant Venissa, a new way of experiencing Venice, immersed in greenery and the charm of its lagoon. 

Chiara Pavan Venissa restaurant

Venissa, the restaurant nestled between the islands of Native Venice and the upper Adriatic

Situated in the evocative setting of the old cellar room, or Cantinone, on a lush estate surrounded by gardens and rows of vines and vegetable patches, Venissa represents a culinary experience in two parts: one being the islands of Native Venice and their ingredients, including herbs and vegetables from the estate’s own vegetable gardens, and the other being fish from the lagoon and the upper Adriatic. Here, you won’t find the more common species of fish, which are becoming less and less present in our seas, and you won’t see any chocolate or exotic delicacies. Rather than using lemon for acidity, the chef uses the unripe grapes picked to thin the vineyards.

This decidedly ambitious and often complex project has been brought to life by Chiara Pavan and her partner, Chef Francesco Brutto. Cooking with products from their own “microcosm” only, and following increasingly uncertain seasonality, is no easy feat. However, presenting their creations through a seven- to ten-course tasting menu, Pavan and Brutto demonstrate how sourcing from local fauna and flora can transform problems into opportunities. One such example is the chef’s creative use of samphire, a halophytic plant with interesting nutritional properties that grows abundantly around lagoons in northeast Italy due to an increase in the salt levels in the soil caused by droughts. 

Cheffe Chiara Pavan recipe

Many of the dishes at Venissa involve a considerable reduction in animal protein, especially meat, which is altogether eliminated. Among the protein alternatives to meat, Chiara Pavan has also introduced Rapana venosa to her menu, which is a large shellfish that originated in the oceans around Japan. This invasive species has been devouring mussels and oysters on the seabed of the upper Adriatic for several decades, which inspired the chef to use it in her cooking, alongside blue crab.

Cheffe Pavan recipe

According to Chef Pavan, it is important to promote a diet rich in vegetables, legumes and grains, as well as to source supplies from growers and producers who share the same values of caring for the environment and the ecosystem. This ethos comes together into a meticulous optimisation of resources through the use of products with a low carbon footprint that do not require transportation to reach the restaurant.

An unforgettable culinary voyage with the Coffee Menu at Venissa

At Venissa, the culinary experience continues right through to the coffee after the meal, which is one of Pavan’s great passions. The coffee menu is composed of two exceptional blends chosen with great care from the 1895 Specialty Coffee selection by Lavazza Coffee Designers, extracted using different methods of slow coffee preparation. Both blends are single-origins from Colombia: Calima, whose name refers to a series of pre-Colombian cultures from the Cauca Valley, the region where it is produced, is characterised by an aroma of sweet fruits with notes of lychee and papaya; and Mora Azul is the product of sustainable production and the careful roasting of the selected coffee beans, which brings a unique complexity to the coffee. The result is an aroma of blueberry sweets with notes of rose petals and jasmine.

The creativity of Venissa meets lagoon cuisine to be shared in the chef’s Osteria Contemporanea, a space immersed in the lush green setting of the Venissa estate’s garden with views over the vineyard, where time itself slows down. Here, you can taste dishes with a contemporary spirit that take their inspiration from the lagoon, from an assortment of seasonal “cicchetti”, which are local snacks, containing the fish of the day to a selection of starters from land and sea. At the end of your culinary experience exploring the treasures of the Venetian lagoon, you can savour an 1895 Specialty Coffee by Lavazza Coffee Designers, brewed as espresso or with a Chemex. This is Noble Volcano : a Brazilian blend that boasts an enveloping profile obtained from the best Arabica coffee beans of the Arara and Catucai varieties, harvested by hand. Its intense flavour features dried fruit aromas with notes of macadamia, chocolate, and caramel.

Cheffe Pavan Venissa

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