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Inspirational Female Founder Spotlight: Roberta d’Elia

Born and raised in Foggia in Puglia, Roberta d’Elia is the Head Chef at Pasta Evangelists, and is on a mission to share the joys of fresh, hand-crafted pasta, bringing a taste of Italy to the UK. From making her first pasta shape, orecchiette, at the age of 6, Roberta learned how to cut, roll and twist by hand using traditional tools with her nonna as a little girl. She went on to work in kitchens in her hometown, Vienna and Dubai, before joining Pasta Evangelists in 2019. Loved by guests for her warmth, charisma and vast pasta knowledge, Roberta has hosted events with high-end British and Italian brands alike – from Parmigiano Reggiano, Clarence Court Eggs and Jeroboams Wine to Billecart Salmon, the Sunday Times Food and Alighieri Jewellery.  

How have you been able to gain funding and grow as a company?

Launching the takeaway branch of the Pasta Evangelists brand was a huge step that made us stand out from others in the category. Pasta has previously been seen as the ‘last frontier’ in takeaway due to challenges maintaining its quality and temperature during delivery. Since we started experimenting with takeaway with Deliveroo a few years ago, we have managed to overcome the challenges faced by other brands in the industry using a test-and-learn strategy, carefully calibrating and adapting the range to ensure we only offer the highest-quality sauce and pasta combinations which can stand up to delivery.

The development of more user-friendly apps and owned delivery platforms, matched with changing consumer demands has widely contributed to the growth of food delivery and takeaway services, now remaining a permanent fixture in consumer lifestyles.

What are the key successes of Pasta Evangelists?

Pasta Evangelists’ has broadened its horizons and entered into the takeaway sphere over the past few years, a significant move and step-change for us, as the focus shifts to innovating the world of Italian takeaway. 

Pasta Evangelists provide chef-made, high-quality Italian takeaway, where consumers can order directly from their local Pasta Evangelists kitchen via pastaevangelists.com and have tasty authentic dishes delivered in as little as fifteen minutes.

We as a team are motivated to evangelise the Italian speciality of pasta fresca (fresh pasta) – a category that has seen minimal innovation in decades. Using only the finest seasonal ingredients and, whenever possible, Italian produce, all our pastas and sauces are handmade in London by our expert chefs. The aim is to showcase the breadth and variety of pastas available, bringing to the light the history and heritage behind the staple dish. 

Offering some of the UK’s most popular dishes such as the ‘carbonara of dreams’, to the indulgent truffle mac & cheese, and beef shin & barolo ragù, the new Pasta Evangelists takeaway service includes our full range of cult best-sellers, as well as an exclusive range of Chefs Specials such as chicken cacciatora and pistachio, lemon & chilli pesto. They also offer own label Pasta Evangelists Italian lager, focaccia, burrata, salads, charcuterie, Italian cakes & gelato, perfect for fuss-free fine Italian dining at home, the office or on-the-go.

We have also just hired two Michelin-Starred Chef Giancarlo Perbellini, as the new Executive Chef. He will be working to elevate the brand’s authentic Italian dishes to new heights, and develop bespoke menus for the Harrods Pasta Bar and across our takeaway platforms, striving to bring Michelin Star quality food into consumers homes.

What are your plans now/for the future?

We will be expanding our take away kitchens throughout the UK with our first Scottish kitchens due to open in the next couple of months. Also planned for this year are our first customer facing pasta kitchens where consumers will be able to watch fresh pasta being made whilst enjoying a delicious bowl on site.

Can you share your top tips for success?

Push yourself out of your comfort zone and work hard, success does not come easily unfortunately!

Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?

My Nonna – the person who ignited the passion in me from an early age to make pasta and teach this simple skill to others

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

‘You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food’ this is exactly how I feel about food, the most simple ingredients can be the most delicious!

What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?