18 Jun 2018 Interview with KINT BITRÓ, gluten free restaurant in Madrid
The project was born out of the personal and health needs of the owner Gigi. In December 2015 he had several digestive problems that prevented him from eating 80% of foods. He had just undergone surgery and his future prospects were steadily worsening. It was hard to keep a job due to his health issues too. He needed to find a joint solution for both his working future and his physical health.
That’s when he realized that there were other people with the same digestive problems. It was hard for these people to find a place to dine, while taking care of their health, and it was often hard to socialise, as eating out was like Russian roulette.
That is why he tried to set up a company that would solve his problems and those of others in the same situation.
He wanted to offer tasty and quality dishes, training and products and services related to allergies, and to connect consumers and companies interested in this area.
Gigi says: “I was broken, I had parts of myself at my disposal and I needed to create something new with them that would be effective and strong. I couldn’t find a more appropriate name for my company than Kintsuggi S.L.”.
The kintsugi is an ancient Japanese technique that uses gold leaf to recompose the fragments of a broken object. Once the object is reconstructed it is no longer the same, but something new, unique and inexplicably more beautiful than it was before.
As he was making a kintsugi with himself, he decided to call the company KintsuGGi, hiding his name (GiGi) in it, and trying to make it a compass that inspired him on the journey.
The concept has the name of Gastrocracy, i.e. the union of two concepts: GASTRONOMY and DEMOCRACY… we want everybody to be able to enjoy good food.
Gigi (Gianluigi Maria Pieri) is the founder and main shareholder of the company. He comes from Milan, a city he left at the age of 20 when he finished high school and moved to Madrid.
He has worked in various sectors (marketing, sales, audiovisual production/events) in Madrid and Dublin, where he also organised a small indie music festival in 2009.
He is an active and sociable person who is always willing to face new challenges.
Marco had been in Madrid for almost 2 years when Kint opened his doors, and is now also one of the founders of the Spanish delegation of the “Federazione Italiana Cuochi”, promoting quality Italian cuisine in Spain.
He loves cuisines from all around the globe and he is passionate about traditional dishes as much as he is about modern cuisine. He has embraced the Kint project in order to create new dishes that can open the door to new experiences.
Our menu’s aim is to reach as many people as possible. We want our customer to enjoy something really yummy, cooked with fresh produce from the Market and with little food miles, made from scratch in an artisan way.
We are known for our “Seasoned Raw Shrimp” and all our rice dishes that Marcos executes to perfection as he knows both risotto and venere rice very well. He prepares them with a homemade broth made with fresh seafood from the Vallehermoso market.
Kint is located at the Vallehermoso Market, in the central area of Chamberí . It is a public space that after years of decadence has returned to its peak through its unique gastronomic offer, its neighborhood market style, and the synergies that have been generated between catering and market stalls.
The key to success
I believe that the key lies in perseverance, sacrifice and humour.
I also think that that in moments of fear, we should just overcome our fears and take risks.
The challenge as an independent
The biggest challenge for me as an independent is to make customers understand that I don’t have the same resources as a big group or a chain.
We can’t afford to have some dishes at the prices chains do. First reason is that we use fresh products from the market, and second we don’t have economies of scale.
In the future it is going to be even more difficult to compete with big groups of restaurants. However, even if some big brands are very popular among customers, there is also a certain empathy for independent restaurants that large chains don’t have.
To start an independent project without experience is undoubtedly complicated and the probability of failure is high… but I believe that a mentality of ambition and survival spirit, with the support from customers, allows flexibility that is certainly needed in restaurants. This mindset will lead to something solid and scalable.
I want Kintsuggi to be able to build links between producers, consumers and distributors through different areas such as dish prep, product distribution, food events, food trips, etc. It is an ambitious project, although at the moment we are just a small stall in the market. I think we will succeed because we are very passionate about it.