Chef Profile – Roberto Pietrella



Chef Profile – Roberto Pietrella

Roberto is the Owner & Chef at Zibaldone Restaurant, which he runs with his brother Adriano in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa.

Born in Cape Town to an Italian family, he relocated to Italy at age 6 and grew up in Perugia, which is located  in the Umbria region of Central Italy.

When asked how he started cooking, he tells me that it sort of happened out of neccesity. Thanks to his mother, Roberto became used to a fairly high standard of food from an early age.  When his friends decided to try their hand at cooking for them at sleepovers, he had a really tough time eating what his mates passed along as “food”.  This forced him to rise to the occasion and take over the cooking from there on out.  Having sampled a number of his dishes myself, I am sure his friends were better off for it!

At age 21 he returned to South Africa and started learning the ropes of the restaurant trade from his father, a lifelong restauranteur, who he describes as his mentor. The rest as they say, is history.

At home he likes to eat comfort food like Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino (Spaghetti with Olive oil and Chilli), or a nice prime rib on the braai, which he insists must not be of the gas variety (good man!)

For dessert he’d go for the classic Crème Caramel.

Roberto and Adriano both show loads of passion for food, people and living the good life.  At the entrance of their beautiful restaurant Zibaldone you will find, printed on a large glass panel, a few lines from a 15th century poem by Lorenzo de’ Medici.


Ogni tristo pensier caschi : facciam festa tuttavia. Chi vuol esser lieto, sia : di doman non c’é certezza!

which roughly translates to

“May every sad thought simply fall away: Let’s celebrate anyhow.  Let him who wants to be happy, be happy:  because of tomorrow,  we have no certainty.”



Zibaldone Contact Details

Reservations: 021 914 1771
(We do not take reservations by e-mail.)
Shop 1B, Tygerlake Building,
Tygerfalls Entrance, Tygervalley Waterfront, Bellville


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Author:Fritz Brand

Passionate Foodie, Blues Man, Photographer, Technology Geek and all round cool dude.

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6 Responses to “Chef Profile – Roberto Pietrella”

  1. Michael Olivier
    October 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Hello Fritz, the click through to their website does not work. Lluv Mxx

    • Fritz Brand
      October 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Hi Michael

      Thanks, it looks like their website is actually down at the moment. I will look into it.


  2. Errieda
    October 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    Thanks for this introduction to Roberto. Lovely man. Great place.

    • Fritz Brand
      October 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

      On the contrary my dear, thank YOU for the introduction :)


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