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About Us

The Project

The Chianti Cooking Experience is a company made up of a team of Tuscan chefs bound together by their love and passion for excellent food and wine.
Elisa started her business 15 years ago with a lot of energy, a positive attitude and a deep passion for cooking and communication. After 10 years, Joshua, her son and an excellent chef and Gabriele, her husband and a great pizza chef joined the adventure.
With their combined effort and passion the business grew quickly and in a few more years  new chefs were needed to join the team. Today you can meet Sergio, Laura, Jessica, Kahlil and Paola on the kitchen team; Marco, Gherardo, Klevis and Cosimo on the pizza team.
Every day they try to make the best food choices and through their work they communicate their beliefs, the benefits of their experience and their hope. As they say, “ We are passionate about what we do and we have found that this is the most real way to inspire and inform other people to love good food and a good life.”
They love to innovate, mixing unusual flavours with traditional recipes and they invest time searching for organic and locally-grown food.
The secret to their delicious cooking lies in the freshness of their produce and the simplicity of their style.

Elisa Berghi

chef manager – event planner

Elisa was born in the heart of the Chianti Classico wine region, in the unique ambiance of the Tuscan countryside. Being a donna Toscana, the daily choice of cooking and eating good food has always been close to her heart.  She loves to introduce new flavours into traditional recipes, giving a light and fresh taste to classic dishes. Elisa, with her husband Gabriele used to own and run an organic goat cheese farm, an experience which brought her in touch more deeply with the importance of using food of the highest quality in cooking. Now she is inspired to cook for you and share the secrets of a long-kept tradition.

Elisa Berghi
"We can't think well, love well, sleep well, if we don't eat well."(Virginia Woolf)


Gabriele Matteuzzi

co-founder – pizza chef manager – pizzaiolo

Gabriele was born in San Casciano, a beautiful town in the Chianti hills between Florence and Siena. His family has lived in this wonderful region of Tuscany for generations, more than four hundred years in fact! His grandparents were artisans and farmers and from them Gabriele acquired his passion for natural animal farming and land cultivation. Now after many years of working on the land Gabriele has returned to the job of his youth, working as a vibrant host and personal chef. He has trained as a ‘pizzaiolo’, a pizza chef and can guide you through the process of making ‘real pizza’ in a wood oven.

"Life is a combination of pasta and magic."(Federico Fellini)

Joshua Bagnolesi

co-founder – chef and pizza chef

His love of food and of cooking began in the family. From childhood he was breathing in a variety of wonderful smells – “there was always something good cooking in our house and I am so grateful to my grandfather and to my mum for having shared their passion with me.” Cooking is about passion, about playfulness, about the joy of life. In fact, since he was a child, one of his favourite pastimes was cooking. Later he was fortunate to be able to do training in order to get a deeper understanding of cooking styles and techniques.  He also really enjoys seeing how a good meal makes people feel – “ it makes them happy and that makes me happy!” He enjoys cooking all kinds of food, vegetables, fish and pasta are among his favourites but he must confess that his Tuscan origins really come out when he starts to cook meat – “I am a specialist in grilling, roasting and stewing! “

"Eating is a way to get deeply in touch with a land." (Jean Brunhes)

For us, good food is not just about taste, but something more. - passion for life itself.

We are passionate about what we do and we have found that this is the most real way to inspire and inform other people to love good food.

For us good food means:

Healthy food: we do not use frozen food or junk food.
Seasonal food: Why eat bland, greenhouse tomatoes in December when you can eat succulent tomatoes, ripened by the sun, in summertime?
Local food: From the local farm straight to your plate – when you buy locally you know where your food came from and you also support small farmers.
Organic food: It is good for us, for the earth, for our future.
Cooking: The satisfaction and joy of preparing, cooking, waiting and finally …eating!

Cooking and eating together is one of the great joys of life. So, it should be fun too. We are fortunate to have grown up in a typical Italian family where we eat together and during one meal are already planning what we will eat for the next one. We love to share this passion with you. Whatever you choose – a catered meal or a cooking lesson – prepare to slow down, relax and savour the aromas and the taste. We can introduce you into the heart of that culture in a warm family atmosphere.

Fresh ingredients

Italy and especially Tuscany are also famous for the great tradition of shopping for raw materials at the local outdoor produce markets. And we do this as well, making good use of our local suppliers, most of whom are known to us personally. Fruit and vegetables are bought from local farmers once our small garden production is exhausted. Most are good friends whom we got to know when we were running our goat’s cheese farm – we used to sell our cheese at the same market. Cereals, flours and pasta come from the Tuscan region. Meat, eggs and dairy are locally produced, with a few exceptions such as for cow milk cheeses and some cold cuts. If we cannot source all  the ingredients that we need from small producers, we choose to buy organic products in the local supermarket.

Our Team