Kentish Town’s Rose & Crown hosts Italian chef’s pop up restaurant

The Cucina Rustica opens in The Rose & Crown on 2 August.

The Cucina Rustica opens in The Rose & Crown on 2 August. - Credit: Archant

Chef Giorgio Fabian Honey discusses how the hyperlocal feel in Kentish Town is perfect for new restaurant Cucina Rustica

Giorgio Fabian Honey describes his upbringing as “a chubby little Italian kid running around my family’s six restaurants.”

This childhood explains the Kentish Town resident’s passion for “good, honest, local food”.

After working in London restaurants, from senior management to head chef, he decided to go it alone with pop up restaurant Cucina Rustica in his local pub, The Rose & Crown.

Giorgio happily acknowledges that pop-ups avoid “all the hassle” and red tape of a permanent venture.

“This is the quickest way from getting an idea that’s in my head to another person’s mouth” says Honey adding that his “fiercely local” neighbourhood reminds him of Italy’s provinces.

“I feel people in Kentish Town want to get behind a local scene. People want to support local businesses.”

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Cucina Rustica has a hyperlocal ethic.

“Italians have been doing the hyperlocal thing for decades, even centuries. My nan was telling me they don’t trade with money.

“They farm pigs and the next door neighbour farms tomatoes, so they trade a kilo of tomatoes for a couple of pork chops,” says Giorgio who believes in the ‘shareconomy dictum of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”.

North London produce is lovingly highlighted throughout the menu; sourdough bread from Muswell Hill fermented with the beer of an N10 micro-brewer pasta made in NW10, veg boxes from NW5 and Giorgio’s homegrown herbs and spices.

Traditional beef and pork meatballs in passata is his speciality but meat-free options include mozzarella and fresh fig bruschetta.

“People put comedic twists on things, naming burgers after famous actors. I thought it would be really great to concentrate on normal food.”

The Rose & Crown, 71-73 Torriano Ave, Kentish Town, NW5 2SG. From 2 August.