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Watch: Meet the Chef Transforming Classic Roman Food

Chef Sarah Cicolini heads the kitchen at the genre-pushing neo trattoria, Santo Palato

In a brightly painted dining room crowded with vintage wooden tables, Sarah Cicolini deftly slices the tops off artichoke after artichoke, trimming them up for what will be one of the nightly specials at her popular year-old restaurant, Santo Palato.

The hardy green flowers are a Roman staple this time of year, found at just about every trattoria and osteria in the city. But Cicolini has made a name for herself by taking some of the most traditional elements of cucina Romana — bitter vegetables, offal cuts, pecorino-enriched pastas — and refining them for a new, young audience of forward-thinking Romans, whether through thoughtful sourcing or her fine dining-hewn technique.

After dropping out of medical school to pursue a career in the kitchen, 30-year-old Cicolini now commands one of the most talked-about trattorias in all of Rome, whose 35 tables are among the city’s most in-demand. Here, meet the chef who is putting a new face on classic Roman food.

Eater is bringing our Rome guide to life with a food-filled trip to the city, brought to you by Black Tomato. Check out the itinerary and book your trip.

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