If you happen to be around Padova, you should definitely try the Lovely Bakery run by Greta: she is responsible for the design of the most creative and rich menu I can remember of! A welcoming host, a passionate chef, a visionary who has forever changed the way people eat in Padova, by being the first one to bring some American flavor to the city.
Name: Greta Rachita
Abroad since: 2007
Living in: Padova, Italy
Current position & company: Manager, Lovely Bakery
TGR: Greta, I wish to see more people like you - fulfilling their personal dream and working for pleasure! Congratulations! Who do you have to thank for this amazing opportunity?
GR: First of all to me for being a dreamer... I was born like that, and letting this go would mean to let go of myself. Then to my family, who had educated me to always follow my dreams and to believe in them. To my husband who supports me and believes in me more than I can ever do. And in particular to Stefania Ilie, the CEO of Atlassib Italy (where I worked for 6 years), who invested money, time and energy to open Lovely Bakery.
How is Lovely Bakery different than any other eating place in Padova? What did you bring new?
I would say a modern, fresh style, the American coffee and pastry which Paduans used to only see on TV, in movies or in Budy Valastro's shows. We were the first ones to bring the idea of brunch, which was later retrieved by a few others.
Your passion for cooking is the main reason behind the success of your bakery. Which is your favorite recipe?
Well, it may sound odd, but my favorite meal is the typical Romanian homemade chicken ciulama with polenta and pickled cucumber... As far as the daily dishes in the bakery, I adore to prepare pancakes with smoked salmon, potato cream and basil.
That looks so so tasty - who helps you bring these works of art to life?
We are currently four people in the bakery - me, another Romanian and two Italians.
Working day and night I suppose... Do you also have some time left for yourself?
It's true - spare time is a little limited... At least for the first two years, it was only about sleeping. But we have great friends, my husband's family, and we go out for a pizza or a snack from time to time.
Why is Padova attractive for you? What makes you stay?
I am not that kind of person who sees her life in only one place. As a child, I have moved between Bistrita, Gherla, Deva and then Timisoara, where I graduated university and received this scholarship in Padova. It is a nice city filled with culture. Here it is where I have found the love of my life - my husband with whom we built a house together. We are more than perfect here, but if tomorrow there's a better place for us, we will for sure relocate.
Including Romania! I think about it very often and I would for sure like that if I had the certainty of a decent living, for me and my husband. For the moment, I stick to visiting it at least once a year. Wherever I am it's always in my heart - it is of remarkable beauty, and I make sure everyone knows about it.
What do you mostly miss about Romania?
The holidays with their traditions, my family and the relationships which people are capable of building in Romania.
Is there anything you would like to be different in your life?
There is always room for improvement, I wish some things were different but for the moment it's probably impossible. For instance, I would like for Lovely Bakery not to be in front of the railway station but in a good neighborhood or in a luxurious suburb... I have to live with that, I am only grateful I had this great opportunity to do what I mostly like - gastronomy.
Managing a cooking business is for sure a dream come true. What's next for you? How does your future look like?
I am now working for another big dream of mine, the promotion of my personal blog - www.gretarachita.ro, a blog about cooking and about myself. I would love to write every day about my passion, to be able to travel and gather as many cooking secrets as possible, first from my home country, then from Italy and the entire world. I would love to run a magazine, to write a book, to interact with people on my favorite topics - gastronomy, being a good host (which I am pretty good at) and so on.
What is your advice for any young passionate about cooking?
To never let go of their dreams!
The Golden Romania
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