|Mon, Oct 20, 2014 01:57 PM
|Issue of October 15, 2014
October 16, 2013 | 09:31 AM
Chef Alberto Papsodero brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Harrison County and offers something otherwise not available in the area: made-from-scratch Italian food, at his newly opened restaurant, Alberto's, in downtown Corydon.
Papsodero has worked all along the east coast from New York to his hometown of Norfolk, Va., and has had stints in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Des Moines, Iowa.
He said he has worked under some of the best chefs while growing up before taking over as head chef everywhere he went.
"There's no better training than being right there in the kitchen with those chefs," he said.
Papsodero landed his first chef job when he was in his early 20s, working with his cousin in a small, gourmet restaurant.
Since then, he's worked everywhere from hotels, large restaurants and his own restaurants and even as a corporate chef in charge of multiple restaurants.
What's a chef who's prepared food all over the country doing in Corydon?
As a single parent, Papsodero wanted to be closer to family, and he has an aunt and uncle who live in Georgetown. After becoming a little burnt out by traveling and working the busy chef life, he decided to visit his aunt and uncle on Loftus Farms in Floyd County.
"Something came over me, and I decided to give up the corporate chef life," Papsodero said.
He then moved to the area and tried the 9-to-5 life, but "I didn't care for it," he said.
So, he opened his own restaurant, Cozza, in Jeffersonville.
"It was a great place," Papsodero said, but the city planned a canal project and the property, which he did not own, was lost in the process.
"The canal was planned to go right through the restaurant," he said.
The canal project has yet to materialize.
After working as a caterer for the University of Louisville football team last year, Papsodero heard of the location in Corydon and decided he'd open an Italian restaurant on the square.
"I liked Corydon because of the square and the historical aspect of it," he said.
Papsodero said he had plenty of opportunities to open a restaurant in Louisville, but believes it is just too saturated.
He said he uses local ingredients as much as possible and literally makes everything for each meal, with the exception of salads.
"I believe in quality," Papsodero said. "Every dish comes through my hands. What I do is very out-of-the box. Everything's done to order; nothing is pre-bought ... Nothing is ever going to taste exactly the same."
Such a well-traveled and well-respected chef, one has to wonder how long Papsodero plans to stay in Corydon.
"I'm not going anywhere," he said. "I eventually hope to add dining upstairs."
Part of his expansion plans include growing the kitchen, which is one of the smallest he's ever worked in.
Future plans also include wine dinners, with one scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4.
Alberto's doesn't take reservations because the facility is so small. Instead, it's first-come, first-served.
The restaurant, located at 100 E. Chestnut St. (at the corner of Capitol Avenue), is open for dinner only on Tuesdays, 5 to 9 p.m., and has lunch and dinner hours Wednesday through Saturday (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 or 10 p.m.).