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. After studying languages in high school and working in the creative environment of theatre as a manager’s assistant, at twenty years old Elisa decided to follow her passion for cooking. To broaden her experience Elisa began working in restaurants and training alongside professional chefs.
After years of honing her craft, a turning point came in her career. She began working as a private chef – cooking for the pleasure of others and teaching others to cook for themselves, Tuscan-style. In doing so she discovered the importance of cultural and personal exchange and had the joy of experiencing this new ‘ingredient’ in a kitchen environment.
Elisa spends a lot of time sourcing local organic food. Using the freshest of produce in a simple style is the main secret to her delicious dishes. She loves to introduce new flavours into traditional recipes, giving a light a 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.
"We can't think well, love well, sleep well, if we don't eat well."(Virginia Woolf)
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. Together with Elisa he owned and ran an organic goat cheese farm and he also learnt the craft of cheese-making using cows milk while living for a time in the Swiss Alps. 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. Recently he introduced ‘Pizza Lab’ – which means that he can come to you with his transportable pizza oven and create the genuine Italian pizza of your dreams in front of your eyes!
"Life is a combination of pasta and magic."(Federico Fellini)
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. Travelling abroad also helped him to develop his style and to experiment with different areas - vegetarian, vegan, raw, fusion. When he cooks he come with a lot of baggage – in the best possible way!! I bring with me all that have learnt abroad and combine it with the beauty of the traditions of my homeland. I love to cook for people so that I can share with them the love I have for the food. 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 and pasta are among his favourites but he must confess that his Tuscan origins really come out when he start 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)