Umberto Gibin & chef Staffan Terje, Volta, Perbacco, & Barbacco
“Our job is to make people happy and that's an incredible challenge because there's no recipe for happiness...”

The chef is often the driving force behind a restaurant, running everything from the concept to the menu. Perbacco, Barbacco, and now Volta are run a little differently. Owners Umberto Gibin and chef Staffan Terje have created a true partnership, palpable from the moment you walk in. The seamlessness of Perbacco and Barbacco is there because of the ultimate trust Gibin and Terje have built with each other — something that any team or business must have in the fabric of its team, if it's going to succeed.

Both Gibin and Terje are from Europe and carry the accents of their birth countries (Italy and Sweden, respectively), as well as the commitment to fine dining and excellence in food that European restaurants are known to offer. After both ended up in California to chase their different dreams, the two met in Los Angeles and eventually decided to open up Perbacco together, ten years ago. Since that time, the restaurateurs have turned Perbacco and its younger sister restaurant, Barbacco, into well oiled machines that serve the who's-who of San Francisco residents and visitors, along with locals who work in the surrounding Financial District.

With their newest restaurant, Volta, Gibin and Terje are taking a literal change in the direction (the meaning of the word "Volta") with an entirely new style of food and restaurant. Listen to the episode to hear what makes Volta different and discover how Gibin and Terje have managed to lead Perbacco and Barbacco to more than a decade of success.

Perbacco and Barbacco, in the heart of San Francisco's Financial Distric, both bustle in the lunch hour rush:

Sunlight in streams into the bar at Perbacco.
Bread waiting to be served for lunch diners at Perbacco. Meals are seared in open flame at Perbacco.
The kitchen at Perbacco. Finding an open seat at Barbacco is a challenge at lunchtime.

Volta takes a literal new turn from the cuisine and style of Perbacco and Barbacco:

Chef Staffan Terje and Umberto Gibin have worked together for over a decade and have developed a rich partnership. Kisses all around! The large, airy, and sunny brasserie style of Volta invites passersby. Chef Staffan Terje prepares the popular herring platter
Meat is prepared by one of the chefs at Volta. Dill is a must when serving herring.
Meat is prepped for Volta's dinner service.
The large kitchen at Volta has the same airy, clean feel of the dining room. The herring platter at Volta is ready to be served. Sometimes, co-owner Umberto Gibin serves diners, himself.
Herring, a ubiquitous Swedish dish, has a fresh take at Volta.
Chef Staffan Terje works in the kitchen at Volta. The Swedish meatballs are prepared
The Swedish meatballs at Volta are served with fine mashed potatoes and currants. The rich paté is balanced with a berry dressing. The Volta brasserie is bright and sunny The Swedish Meatballs at Volta don't compare to the ones you can find at IKEA, though chef Staffan Terje lives in the Oakland area, not far from IKEA. White fish, one of the most common foods found in Sweden, is prepared to be at once light and flavorful at Volta. Patė and pickled herring
Shadows of serving platters are seen through frosted glass separating the kitchen at Volta and the dining area. Chef Staffan Terje and Umberto Gibin stand by the wall of wine glasses at Volta.
Fresh citrus fruits and herring, on the bar at Volta.

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