Secret Feasts: Baladin

Discover authentic Italian food alongside beers from Italy's first 100% craft brewery, served in Camden's atmospheric North Yard

Baladin is an Italian craft brewery that began life as a simple pub in the village of Piozzo back in 1986. Founder Teo Musso turned his parent’s hen house into a fermentation cellar, before building a ‘beerduct’ to transfer wort from Piozzo’s main square over to the hen house.

This spirit of innovation is still very much a main ingredient for Baladin, who were the first brewery to make 100% Italian craft beer and also designed the TeKu glass, the optimum receptacle for beer sipping.

Teo later brought his interest in music to the brewery too, putting sound diffusers on the fermentor with the idea that yeast, as a living organism, would work better stimulated by music. A research project is now underway at the University of Florence, which some interesting data emerging, so he may well be onto something rather special.

In early 2020, Baladin founded its first London home, Italian Alley, a restaurant concept bringing a broad range of Italian regional cuisine to Camden Market from a beautiful, cobbled passageway of railway arches. The pandemic forced this ambitious venture to close devastatingly soon after opening.

Now, after a tricky couple of winters, the Baladin team are back at their new home in North Yard, and excited to be able to share their unique union of Italian craft beer and authentic food once more. Book tickets to Secret Feasts to enjoy a meal at Baladin for only £20.

Meet the chef

Gerasimos Gkogkas, known as Jerry, is the restaurant’s sous chef. He came to the UK when he was 17, beginning as a kitchen porter before being promoted to a waiter, and then graduating onwards to become a chef. He is adamant that cooking has changed his life.

“I wanted to be a footballer originally, but I had issues with my lungs,” he tells us. “Now, cooking is one of the most important things in my life.”

For Jerry, preparing food is all about energy: “I love it when people are satisfied and happy after eating a meal. It’s wonderful to see customers enjoying the food and the time spent eating it. It’s an amazing feeling.”

One of his favourite meals of all was the carbonara he cooked for the first time in the kitchen at Baladin. Is his carbonara the best? “Of course! If you put that energy into it, and you say this is the best carbonara, then it really will become your best carbonara,” he says.

Jerry’s favourite dish on the Baladin menu is gnocchi with sausage ragú or the ravioli. “I enjoy making the ravioli because I like taking my time with it. The taste is obviously very important, but the customer’s first experience of the food is usually eye contact with the plate. If the food looks good, this translates into how it tastes.”

Now, with the restaurant back to serving guests and his role in the kitchen growing further, what would he say to his 17-year-old-self looking back? “Just work. Work your ass off, be focused and go for it. Whatever you have in mind, do it. Everything is possible, even with challenges like a pandemic. A lot of people have done a lot of things, so why can’t that be you?”

Secret Feasts menu at Baladin

On four special Wednesday nights (Feb 23rd and March 2nd, 9th and 16th) Camdenist presents Secret Feasts at North Yard. 

At Baladin, you’ll be able to to choose a spaghetti carbonara, cacio e pepe, AOP (chilli, garlic and oil) or a gnocchi sausage ragú, or alternatively try one of the range of topped focaccia. A choice of sides including torpedino fresh tomato salad, grilled sausage or mixed salad is included, too, and you’ll also get a can or bottle of beer, a glass of wine or soft drink, all for your £20 ticket. 

You’ll also want to try the five beers on tap, including one rotating beer, bottled varieties, rare barley wines and distillates, cider, and Baladin Camden’s signature drinks: beer cocktails.

Book Secret Feasts tickets here

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