Silvia Barban was born and raised in Northern Italy, and spent summers in Southern Italy with her family. After graduating from "E.Maggia" Stresa culinary school, she worked in the kitchen of Gualtiero Marchesi and then as a pastry chef, learning to cook modern and traditional desserts for Giancarlo Perbellini, eventually moving into the kitchen as Chef de Partie. In 2012, Silvia moved to New York for the opening of Giovanni Rana Pastificio e Cucina, where she became sous chef. In 2014 she received an offer to become Executive Chef at Aita in Brooklyn, where she directed the restaurant using fresh, local produce to create traditional and modern Italian dishes.
In 2016, she competed in Season 14 of Bravo's Top Chef. The same year, she decided to open a new restaurant with her partners. She opened Larina Pastificio e Vino in Fort Greene Brooklyn as Chef and Co-Owner where she uses the inspiration of her childhood in Northern and Southern Italy as well as her current travels in her dishes.
Why did you want to partner with Our Pantry?
Finding the absolute best ingredients that are top notch and making this a brand for chefs is what excites me most about the partnership. Why do you go to a restaurant? There is a chef making your food. Why not do that for the items you buy at the supermarket? As an Italian person, I see so many tomato sauces at the market, many that aren’t great. I’m excited that there will finally be one from me, as an Italian, that has a distinctiveness to it—the yellow cherry tomato. I'm excited to bring my heritage to the market.
What is one of your favorite kitchen shortcuts?
When you cut cherry tomatoes put them between two quart container lids. One quart container up and one quart container down. You can cut 10 tomatoes down the middle at once. It’s very satisfying!
Why does Our Pantry's mission of having fully traceable ingredients resonate with you?
We should know where our food comes from. I do this with my clothing—why don’t we do that with the food that we put in our body, especially the food we buy off the shelf?
Why is cooking special to you?
Cooking brings me back to my family. Because I don’t live in Italy, cooking reconnects me with them even if they are not physically near me.