Saturday, September 23, 2023
HomeKitchenToulouse. Francesco had caught the eye of Philippe Etchebest: he is...

Toulouse. Francesco had caught the eye of Philippe Etchebest: he is opening an Italian restaurant

Francesco Formica, spotted in “Objective Top Chef” in 2020, opened his Italian restaurant in Toulouse a month ago. (©Actu Toulouse/Anthony Assémat)

There are times in life when you have to cross the Rubicon, take risks, put yourself in danger. That’s what happened to Francesco Formica. But for the chef of the new Italian restaurant in Toulouse, Mantesino, near the Saint-Aubin and Colombette districts, this crucial step was not like a leap into the void.

A double culture at the service of the kitchen

On June 20, 2022, the Toulouse chef, who arrived in the Pink City at the age of 2, has always been immersed in Neapolitan culinary culture. Born in the homeland of pizza and Maradona, Francesco wanted to put its dual culture, “Neapolitan and French”, at the service of one of his greatest passions: cooking. This former engineer decided to retrain at the beginning of 2022. “Cooking is my favorite pastime, I have always cooked for the family, friends… I have always had good feedback on my dishes. So, even if the context is complicated to open a restaurant, between the economic situation and the Covid, I had the courage to start, “he explains to Toulouse News.

A remarkable passage in “Objective Top Chef”

The other boost of this professional turn is the passage in the program “Objective Top Chef”, in 2020. Noticed by the famous Girondin chef Philippe Etchebest, especially for his Schialatelli with clams, he has not forgotten the remark of the latter: “If you cook like that, you can open your restaurant!” “. “Being on this show gave me confidence. It pushes us out of our comfort zone. I now know that I can invent a dish in no time,” observes the chef.

A reference to the image of the Italian Mama

Two years later, Francesco embarked on the adventure with Mantesino. A name not at all chosen at random and which recalls the family, childhood, hands in the grease of the products in the kitchen to make a good little dish…

“Mantesino is a word that comes from the Neapolitan dialect and means “apron”.

Francesco FormicaRestaurant Manager Mantesino

Become THE Italian pasta restaurant in Toulouse

The Italian-Toulouse chef wants to establish himself in the landscape of the Pink City as THE Italian pasta restaurant, and stand out from traditional pizzas, where supply is currently overcrowded. According to him, “there are few restaurants where you can eat good pasta. It is often the same recipes that come back, such as bolognese and carbonara. Yet Italian cuisine is as vast as French cuisine.”

Mantesino has replaced Le chat noir in the Saint-Aubin district of Toulouse.
Mantesino has replaced Le chat noir in the Saint-Aubin district of Toulouse. (©Actu Toulouse/Anthony Assémat)

A deliberately restricted card

Its menu varies each week and offers a deliberately limited choice, around three choices of starters, main courses and desserts. The chef likes to offer a typical Neapolitan dish alongside creations that leave room for more originality. For example, you can enjoy linguine with sea bream, risotto with peccorino, pasta with pistachio pesto, sfogliatelle for dessert… “So far, I’ve had good feedback”, is satisfied the chef, who replaced a well-known address in the neighborhood, “Le chat noir”.

Beginnings in fanfare, sustained rhythm, little respite… Francesco now lives 100% of his passion. And with Mantesino, our little finger tells us that he is not about to give up his apron!

Videos: currently on Actu

Mantesino. 8 Maury Street. Such. : 05 31 54 13 29.
Prices: the starter+main course+dessert menu at 28 euros in the evening, and 19 euros at lunchtime.


Was this article helpful to you? Note that you can follow Actu Toulouse in the My Actu space. In one click, after registration, you will find all the news of your favorite cities and brands.



  1. Attractive element of content. I just stumbled
    upon your blog and in accession capital to say that I acquire
    in fact loved account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing for your augment
    and even I fulfillment you access persistently fast.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

%d bloggers like this: