“I always cook. Whenever I am sad, whenever I am happy.”
I compare [tramezzini] to an orchestra. Usually another sandwich has a lot going on, like a 10-piece orchestra, and if one of them is not good enough, you don’t necessarily hear it because it’s covered by the others. But in our sandwiches, we only have three-four components. They all have to be good, like a nice jazz quartet. So every instrument plays in perfect harmony with each other, so less ingredients, good quality, and I call it a way to relax your palate. So once you eat it, you don’t have to think about what it is, or what it isn’t. You just appreciate simple, high-quality food, which is the most important thing for a Venetian sandwich.”
Filippo Paccagnella always had a love for food, which he says stemmed from growing up with an Italian mother and the therapeutic nature of cooking. After moving to The States from Venice in 2007, Filippo scored a job in architecture and spent the next 10 years in that industry. Five years ago, however, he started to have an unexplained attraction to the food world. During which time Filippo and his brother, Massimiliano, noticed the lack of Venetian sandwiches in the United States and decided to change that.
While the concept was still in progress, Filippo balanced his time between Tramezzini NYC and his job as an architect. But as soon as Tramezzini NYC caught the eye of Smorgasburg two years ago, Filippo went from designing buildings to designing food (and his business) full time.
But it was a game changer, Smorgasburg, because it made the whole thing real. It’s two steps, right? The first one is visual. If they like the concept, they call you back for the second step, which is the tasting. And then they called us back immediately and they loved it, so that made me realize that I needed to take it seriously.”
The main difference between Italian-American sandwiches and tramezzini is the number and quality of ingredients. The bread used in tramezzini is imported from Venice, with the help of their third partner, Davide Pedon. Filippo keeps all of his ingredients as Italian as possible, finding only the best organic produce and imported items to use.
Even though their brick and mortar location opened three months ago, Filippo is looking to expand in the future with new locations. For now, in his spare time, he networks to keep his business flourishing. But ultimately, his goal is to introduce everyone he can to the authentic Venetian sandwich: tramezzini.
Don’t leave wondering if you did it, maybe it’s better leaving for a while regretting you did and then start from zero again. But never leave and wonder, ‘What if I did it?’”