Igles Corelli


Igles Corelli

Being at the forefront of the Italian nouvelle cuisine movement when he was younger helped form Igles Corelli's playful, creative cooking style. He now runs the Michelin-starred Ristorante Atman in Tuscany and helps teach the new generation of chefs how to succeed.

We all know the crunchy part of the lasagne is the best bit of the entire dish – it can even cause of a bit of friendly competition at the dinner table. This is something Igles Corelli remembers very well – the dish wasn’t made very often when he was younger, being brought out only for special occasions, but the race against his father to get the crunchy bit gave birth to one of his most famous dishes.

Born in 1955 in Argenta, Emilia-Romagna, Igles’ parents owned a trattoria and put him to work in there from the age of nine. He used to play around, pretending to buy and sell sweets, but his culinary curiosity was first piqued when he first made piadina, an Italian flatbread. He realised that the oil had to be hot before frying the bread, otherwise it would become soggy. Igles continued to experiment in the kitchen, and after graduating from culinary school started to work in kitchens across Emilia-Romagna.

In 1981, Igles, finally settled down in his hometown at a restaurant called Il Trigabolo. The establishment originally started life as a pizzeria, but eventually began to focus on nouvelle cuisine and modern dishes – one of the first of its kind. The kitchen was run by Giacinto Rossetti who, along with the brigade of chefs, were constantly seeking out new products and technology. ‘For the first time the best local, traditional ingredients were being used to create brand new dishes, giving chefs a newfound creativity in the kitchen,’ says Igles. It is here that he created the dish inspired by his childhood memories – Crunchy lasagne with vegetables, Robiola cheese and Praga ham sauce.

Igles was given the keys to the kitchen and became head chef in 1983 – that same year he won his first Michelin star. The second came just four years later, and Il Trigabolo became one of the most respected restaurants in Italy. Igles continued on as head chef until 1993 and helped set up Sapere e Sapori (Knowledge and Taste), a cultural association dedicated to promoting the very best food and wine and bringing chefs together, which continues to celebrate Italian cuisine today.

After the closure of Il Trigabolo in 1993, Igles opened Locanda della Tamerice in Ostellato in 1995 with his life and business partner Pia Passalacqua. Here he won another Michelin star and was head chef until 2010, when he decided to close the restaurant to move to Tuscany. ‘I had no desire to go to Tuscany at first,’ says Igles. ‘I was planning to settle down in Rome instead. But my friend invited me to stay with him and I instantly fell in love with the region – there was everything I wanted; both beauty and culture.’ It was Pistoia, just north of Florence, that really captured Igles’ heart, and he opened Ristorante Atman with his friend Paulo Rossi, quickly receiving a Michelin star. In 2015, the restaurant was rehoused in a nearby Baroque-style villa.

Igles’ passion for teaching has grown over the years, and he is now the coordinator for Gambero Rosso’s professional cooking courses. He has also become a familiar face on TV screens, appearing on various programmes since 2001. His creative cuisine continues to celebrate everything good about traditional Italian food by combining it with other cultures, but his dishes still have that playful, creative flair which was formed at Il Trigabolo all those years ago.