The curtain falls on the edition of the MangiaeBevi 2020 Award and Haveli wins as the best ethnic restaurant in Florence. This news makes us proud and full of satisfaction, considering that 2020 was a very special year. A satisfaction that comes almost unexpected, at a time that is certainly not easy for restaurants in general. 2020 was also the year of the restaurant's 20th anniversary, the longest Indian in Florence and one of the best-known ethnic cuisine venues in the Tuscan capital.
The MangiaeBevi Award was born in 2017 as a replacement and natural evolution of the MangiaeBevi guide, with the aim of giving recognition and the right gratification to those catering activities and to those operators in the sector who have been able to distinguish themselves over the last year. The initiative aims to help turn the spotlight on excellence and catering professionals throughout Italy. Every year, therefore, a competition is held that involves restaurateurs, restaurants and producers from the territory of the main Italian cities.
The 2020 edition was, for obvious reasons, a very special edition. In fact, it took place exclusively online and with the aim of rewarding the realities that over the last year have been able to react stubbornly to difficulties and have strived to continue to run their activities, albeit with great sacrifices. A group of authoritative journalists and experts in the food and wine sector has selected the most representative activities for Milan, Rome, Naples, Turin, Florence and Palermo. Each of them presented five nominations for each of the 16 categories provided. MangiaeBevi readers were then asked to vote for their favorite restaurant for each category.
The jury of experts called to propose the restaurants that stood out most in Florence in 2020 was formed by: Chiara Aiazzi (Identità Golose), Tommaso Baldassini (TuscanyPeople), Anna Balzani (Florence is you), Federico Bellanca (Beverfood), Raffaella Galamini (Agrodolce), Marco Gemelli (Il Forchettiere), Giacomo Iacobellis (FUL – Florence Urban Lifestyle), Masakatsu e Manami Ikeda (SaporitaWeb), Luca Managlia (Gola Gioconda), Paola Mencarelli (GamberoRosso/Florence Cocktail Week), Anonio Sorvillo (FirenzeToday), Niccolò Tozzi (Firenze Spettacolo).
Haveli restaurant was awarded the first prize in the Best Ethnic Restaurant category by both the public and the press.
During the lockdown period, in the spring of 2020, we were faced with two possibilities: to keep our restaurant closed and anxiously wait for the reopening, or to find a way to meet our customers, giving them the opportunity to taste the dishes of our Indian cuisine even at home. This is why we immediately set about organizing the takeaway service and free home delivery: two fundamental elements that have allowed us to continue working and above all to satisfy the desires of ethnic food enthusiasts. Strengthened by this experience, we have decided not to stop and to continue to offer this possibility always, whatever the color of the area, whether the restaurant is open or not.
“The award fills us with pride and satisfaction and invites us to look to the future with optimism,” commented Jyoti Singh, who in addition to being the owner of Haveli is also a renowned chef and sommelier. The history of the restaurant begins long ago, well before the beginning of the new millennium, when it opened in Viale Fratelli Rosselli. It is a story made of passion for cooking, but also of effort, difficulty and integration.
“When my wife Rubel and I arrived in Italy and in this city it was 1993 - he adds -. We had a suitcase and a heart full of hopes and dreams. The greatest of these was being able to open my own restaurant, as I had followed hotel studies in India. In recent years, by working hard, we have managed to achieve our goal and spread the recipes of the Punjab, of which we originate, and of all of India ".
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