At Home With Chiara Barla
Discover the warm and welcoming home of Chiara Barla: curating chef at Apotek 57. Hidden away from the buzzing streets of Nørrebro, Chiara and her partner Gonzalo’s townhouse imbues a quiet functionality.
"Cooking is my passion and profession; it inspires me and is a fundamental part of my daily life, even at home."
Can you elaborate on your relationship with Frama?
I am the chef and curator of Apotek57, the eatery adjacent to Frama's Studio Store in Copenhagen.
Tell us about your home.
My apartment is a three-level townhouse in Nørrebro, one of the most lively neighborhoods in Copenhagen, and without a doubt, my favorite one. Initially, the building functioned as a printing house and was later redeveloped into an apartment. It is located in a small backyard, hidden from the buzzing streets of this multicultural quarter, but still close to all the places I want to go.
Describe your home in three words.
Spacious, bright, and lively.
Which qualities do you appreciate most about your space?
I like the openness and accessibility to the outside. The floor-to-ceiling kitchen and living room windows facing the yard make the rooms warm and welcoming. It almost feels like a public space, but the upper levels allow for more peace, quietness, and privacy.
What qualities should a functional kitchen have for you?
A functional kitchen should have a big countertop. Organized shelves and cabinets are a plus. It is essential for me that everything is visible and easy to reach.
What is your favorite corner in your home?
The sunny rooftop! Even if I can only enjoy it for a few months in the summer.
What is your favorite object or piece of furniture you own?
My plants, and the first gift from my boyfriend Gonzalo — a signed lithograph of the Danish artist Dea Trier Mørch.
Does your work inspire the way you live at home?
Even if I am always cooking at Apotek 57, I cannot stop doing the same when I am home. I love trying new dishes, experimenting with ingredients, and hosting dinners for friends. Cooking is my passion and profession; it inspires me and is a fundamental part of my daily life, even at home.
Working alongside Frama means that all the elements are part of the dish. Not just the ingredients but also the ceramics and the cutlery are part of the food I serve. I like the Otto ceramics because they represent a solid blank canvas that can be filled with colors and textures.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
I try to study and observe constantly. It could be what other chefs are creating or trying to read the customer's reactions. Especially by dealing with local farms and small producers, you have the chance to work with ingredients that are somehow always different and unique. On top of that, new guests and passers-by gathering and visiting Apotek 57 make every morning feel like a fresh start — impossible to get bored or demotivated.
How would you describe your approach to cooking?
I prefer to use only a select few ingredients at a time and put them in focus. I appreciate straightforward flavors and always add some surprising elements.
Do you see a common ground between design and cooking?
I believe they are both a way to surround ourselves with beauty, colors, and taste.