Having served celebrities at the Opryland Hotel, Italian native now calls Martin home

Having served celebrities at the Opryland Hotel, Italian native now calls Martin home
Having served celebrities at the Opryland Hotel, Italian native now calls Martin home | Baroque Dick's, BDX, Giovanni Giosa
The rolling soybean and corn fields may be the telltale sign that Martin is situated squarely in northwest Tennessee, but a local coffee shop has decided to house a little piece of Italy within its walls. Baroque Dick’s (BDX), long known for its coffee selection, recently added a new bistro menu to its repertoire and the food is prepared by none other than professional chef and native Italian Giovanni Giosa. Giosa, who hails from Florence, Italy, was inspired by his godfather who was both teacher and chef to his godson to attend a state culinary school where he learned about both international and Italian regional cuisine. He was visiting friends in Nashville at the opening of a new restaurant when he met a waitress, April Gardner. They soon married and moved back to Florence for a couple of years before moving to Nashville. While in Nashville, Giosa worked as a chef in the Opryland Hotel as well as another top Italian restaurant where he prepared meals for such people as Bill Clinton, Dolly Parton, Rudy Guiliani, Neil Young and James Gandolfini as well as others and catered Wynonna Judd’s wedding. During this time, the Giosas had two children, Aurora and Salem Lucca and ultimately decided to come to Martin on a job opportunity and a chance to return home for April, a Martin native whose father, Harvey Gardner, once worked at The Press. “We came to Martin on a job opportunity at the university with Sodexho Food Services,” Giosa admitted. “After working for Sodexho, I left and worked for Generations in Union City for a year and a half. By chance, one day, we came in for coffee and we talked to Erik Markin. He mentioned to us that he was thinking of incorporating food in the style of a bistro and we admitted we were thinking the same thing and it went from there.” “It was a lot of work,” April Giosa admitted. “He (Giovanni) even helped tile the wall. The three of us have done a lot of work. It was perfect timing for us to come here.” The food is served for dinner on Thursday through Saturday, but those who show up for a meal on Monday through Wednesday will not be turned down. Though the food is entering its third week of being served, the process of getting the equipment and supplies together has gone on since early April and is not over yet as plans will soon go forward for serving wines from around the world. In building up the menu, the Giosas talked about the concepts and flavors and April Giosa put it together and wrote it down. For all of this hard work, Giosa offers all the thanks to his wife, Markin and Ean Greer, his helper in the kitchen. “I have a passion for cooking,” Giosa admitted. “I’m not a big recipe follower and it doesn’t matter if you don’t follow the recipe as long as you follow your heart.”

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