Food lovers glimpse inside the kitchen of Caffe Rainer, the Austrian Bakery in Florence
by T. Raycheva & Brittany Hand
With one most exciting love celebration days approaching we would like to write a few words about one of the nicest places in Florence where you can experience good pastry. Those who really look for good quality food will be astonished. We are honored to present to you Rudolf Rainer and Silvia Rabito, founders of Caffè Rainer, the first and only Austrian bakery in the heart of Florence.
The caffè was founded in 2011 by the will and spirit of those two passionate food lovers, who believed that their dedication and creativity would carry a new touch of delight to the beautiful Renaissance city.
Caffè Rainer recreates the atmosphere and traditional flavors of the legendary Caffè Rainer Innsbruck, founded in 1962 by the father of Rudolf. It was there where he fell in love with the unforgettable taste of the Austrian pastry, and has since then turned his life into a continuous search for food of great quality and experience.
Let’s meet Rudolf and Silvia.
Silvia Rabito, interested in food since childhood, was born in Padua; and is the niece of inventor and founder of the famous Italian aperitif, Aperol. In the seventies, Silvia was a macrobiotic, when whole grains were mocked and treated as feed to chickens, and to buy soy sauce she had to take two buses. She is a strong believer that we are what we eat, and pays close attention and care to taste, flavor, and smell.
Silvia is also a big lover of art and performing acts. In fact, she graduated in Art at the DAMS University of Bologna, and has worked many years as a teacher of Italian to foreigners. Her personal, professional development resulted in a Master of Arts in Exercise Science and Gymnastics. Then together with Rudolf in 2011, she opened Caffè Rainer, thus putting her experience and expertise at the service of the first Austrian pastries in Florence.
Rudolf Rainer has had hands-on culinary experience since childhood—a little boy helping Mom and Grandma bake biscuits and delicious, spicy cakes. In college he had serious training at Hotelfachschule, a school of hotel management in the Hall in Tirol, a town in Tyrol, Austria. It was there where he learned about creativity, food processing, discipline, and perseverance; but it was his ability to learn quickly, combining delicacy and precise measurement, that resulted in his absolute mastery.
Rudolf’s training was later enriched with work experience at various clubs in Innsbruck, and on cruise ships traveling around the world. This gave him the chance to get in touch with new ingredients, flavors, and scents on the other side of the planet. Having a free spirit, being generous, courageous, and volcanic, but organized, Rudolf became a boxing and ski instructor, a locomotive driver and locksmith, a plasma donor, and even a Red Cross volunteer.
It was after a little over twenty years that he decided to come to Italy, driven by his desire to learn the language. Since then, he has worked as a master chef for 14 years in one of the most prestigious Florentine restaurants in the city. His passion for pastry has always been a major part of his life, and when the right moment came, he and Silvia made their dream come true in opening Caffè Rainer Firenze.
With this first recipe, we from www.allinflorence.guide, together with Rudolf and Silvia www.pasticceriaaustriaca.it, would like to start a new section dedicated to cooking and baking… Tasty 🙂
To your attention, Rudolf and Silvia are willing to share one of their favorite simple bagel recipes, and invite those of you in Florence to join for a Sunday bagel brunch in Caffè Rainer.
Try out the recipe, and send us your photos! We have a gift for those that make the best.
Asiago Cheese & Radicchio Bagel