Welcome to the world of Le Soste Association.
For 40 years we have been collecting the best Italian cuisine restaurants in our country and in Europe. We are the expression of excellency in all the professions involved in the food business: cuisine, table service, management and sommellerie.
In 2022 our wonderful group has 102 members, with a distinctly Italian core – 96 members distributed all around the country, from Trentino Alto Adige to Sicily – and 6 presences abroad, in Luxembourg, the Principality of Monaco, Slovenia and Switzerland.
The voyage in the most refined Italian taste
From 40 years, Le Soste is a source of inspiration for well-thought itineraries through 102 stations of taste, where the mastery of the chefs joins with charme of the locations and with a true “made in Italy” hospitality.
Every stop, whether in Italy or abroad, leaves the memory of a special moment of sharing centered around pleasure, refinement and emotion.
You are afforded the privilege to get to know places filled with history, charm and beauty, while meeting chefs inspired by a genuine passion for quality food and for the land from which it comes from. You will savour sublime culinary styles steeped into unique identities, while letting yourself be pampered by the careful and polite attentions of professionals.
The Le Soste logo and book
The signature badges of our community of restaurants have always been the logo and the yearbook. The Le Soste logo has been conceived by Emilio Tadini, painter and writer, then President of the Accademia di Brera. Our graphic symbol is made to recall, in its simplicity, an “S” shaped arrow that looks like the sign of ancient postal stations. The logo embodies the prestige of the Association and of each and every member, summarizing the high quality standard of Le Soste.
Our group of food and hospitality experts is celebrated also through this annual publication, which is an indispensable vademecum of the most revered restaurants offering Italian high cuisine in our country and in Europe. This luxurious volume, published by Mediavalue and enhanced by an elegant, refined graphic and typographic design, is the exclusive gift that we reserve to the guests of our restaurants.
How did the idea of the Le Soste Association come about? To answer this question we must go 40 years back in time. It was 1982 when a small group of restaurant owners met for dinner in the restaurant of Gualtiero Marchesi, in Via Bonvesin de la Riva in Milan. In those years, haute cuisine peeked out in Italy with some isolated attempts. The brilliant intuition of these entrepreneurs of taste was precisely in wanting to build a system, meeting periodically to exchange ideas and initiatives on the excellency of Italian food and wine. At that table sat Antonio Santini, Roberto Ferrari, Geatano Martini, Andreas Hallrigh and Rinaldo Krcivoj, as well as Gualtiero Marchesi. They were the pioneers of the ideals of culinary culture, conviviality, hospitality, courtesy and class sponsored by Le Soste.
Great French associations such as Traditions et Qualité and Relais Gourmands already existed and acted as inspiring models. In 1994 that group of friends was established in the Association Le Soste with a notary deed. Since then, every year the number of restaurant owners has been enriched with new members through a geographical and numerical expansion: different faces and styles, united by the balance, openness and uniqueness of a frank, passionate, unattainable cuisine. For some realities, the first generation of the founders has given way to their children and grandchildren: the values remain unchanged, a foot lingers in the purest local tradition, but the mind is open to the future, ready to catch new trends. Even years later, the spirit of friendship between the Members and the common path aimed at the finess of the proposals and hospitality still guide all members.
The total quality project
Study, research and experimentation are intertwined with love for absolute quality, dedication to this profession that lies between craftsmanship and art, and ultimately with the energy that you need to reinvent yourself each day without ever losing sight of your identity. Our chefs select excellent ingredients, rooted in the territory, with care and sensitivity for what is sustainable and what preserves biodiversity. The reworking of ingredients in creative proposals has its roots in our cultural heritage, but is enriched with influences from the entire world.
In addition to the indisputable professionalism of every Le Soste Member, there is an added value that gives meaning to each of these stops: the human warmth of the relationship, the rituality of gestures, the immediacy of welcome and goodbye.
With Le Soste your special moments are dressed in absolute perfection.
Values to rethink Italian catering
As an association, Le Soste promotes the culture of food and hospitality at the highest levels and protects some increasingly central values for high-end catering.
The first one is sustainability, a commitment that is constantly cultivated on the big tables, on which today the attention of politics, public administration and consumers is focused. Members Le Soste support an alternative approach to the art of eating by reducing the negative impacts on the environment, combating food waste and setting up social tables or promoting simpler restaurant styles.
The ethics represents the other guiding principle of the Association, and is realized with the opening towards a style of life and work that triggers virtuous changes even beyond the confines of restaurants. In order to leave a positive legacy to future generations, we favor the use of ingredients with a short supply chain, which we treat and preserve with the utmost respect and we tell their stories with honesty and transparency. With our business activities, we contribute to the economic, cultural and social development of our communities, we promote the sharing of knowledge and protect natural resources.
All members of the Le Soste Association are dedicated to training young people who wish to pursue the profession of restaurateur by marrying the excellence of product and service. The figures of these last years are clear: there is a growing number of emerging chefs, passionate and enthusiastic, aspiring to constantly improve themselves with a sincere openness to innovation and creativity. To support the commitment to the new generations, Le Soste organizes activities and initiatives with a cultural flavor such as conferences, scholarships and sponsorships. The Le Soste convention represents an annual event of study, training, updating, exchange and comparison for a long-term planning on the world of catering. In 2016, the “Alimentare tra salute & piacere” conference was held in the institutional context of Palazzo dei Giureconsulti in Milan. Oltre i Gesti was the title of the forum of 2017 and 2018: same venue for a day of work on the delicate relationship between room and kitchen in the high-end Italian catering. From this mosaic of activity comes a beautiful common design, alive for 40 years, aimed at growth, experimentation, the sense of the purest hospitality and the exaltation of Italian territory in all its forms.