Teachers

Our masters of Culinary Arts

Some information about our teachers: their work experience, their qualifications and publications.

Cristina Blasi and Gabriella Mari are co-founders and directors of the School of Culinary Arts Cordon Bleu Florence, and have been the two pillars of the school since the very beginning.
 
They became qualified teachers at Cordon Bleu Rome, are members of the "Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France" as well as sommeliers and expert tasters of extra virgin olive oil.
 
Two great teachers: overflowing with enthusiasm, Cristina, who will guide you along a learning journey you never thought possible. Gabriella, a safe harbour, who will enhance your learning experience in every single lesson.
Tommaso Bartoloni

Tommaso Bartoloni

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Teaching: Professional, Academic, Amateurs Courses

Classes: Cooking

The passion for cooking was passed on to him by his grandmother since he was a child, the technique by our Cristina, whose student he was. Of his own, Tommaso Bartoloni puts in an innate aptitude for teaching: students appreciate him for his empathy, patience, and clarity of exposition, even in the smallest steps of the preparations.

He on the other hand loves his work. Of the restaurant, where he worked for so many years, he misses the adrenaline rush, but since teaching he has realized that this is his path because it allows him to get in touch with new people and things that are always different.

He is as comfortable in all kinds of preparations, from appetizers to desserts, in ethnic dishes as in vegetarian and vegan cooking. But above all, he's the king of pasta! Ravioli, tortelli and timballi are his masterpieces.

Francesco Beatini

Francesco Beatini

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Francesco Beatini was born in Florence on April 29 1974. His first experiences were not in the culinary field, as he studied at the Istituto d'Arte di Firenze, to become a graphic designer, which was then followed by a degree in painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. However, at the age of 16 only, he began to work in restaurant kitchens in Florence.

His professional career flourished because of his sincere passion for the traditional gastronomy of Tuscany, and in 2000 he began his employment at Autogrill as head of restaurants, developer of operations, and consultant for regional purchasing. In 2003, he opened his own restaurant in the center of Bologna, and started a collaboration with Coop Adriatica as a cooking teacher and consultant. In 2006, he moved into the hotel sector, organizing the restaurant services for the Holiday Inn of San Lazzaro di Savena.

Since 2008 he has been the chef of the restaurant "La Dondina" in Budrio. He also collaborates with various cantine in the Bologna and Trevigiano regions, does catering in the Bologna area and has an internet site called "Il giorno del cibo" on which he shares his expertise about the cuisine of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. For several years, he has been concentrating on teaching at cooking schools in the Emilia Romagna region, at professional culinary institutes as well as at private cooking schools.

During this time he has also been a  consultant for food companies such as Surgital and Barilla, and has continued his research and activity as a chef at the restaurant "Baia di Maui" in Comacchio. He has always focused his artistic interests on the study of culinary tradition. His research has led him to the creation of new dishes and the re-invention of old ones - always playing creatively with the pairing of various tastes, flavours and colours.

Cristina Blasi

Cristina Blasi

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A dynamic and enthusiastic teacher. Though she loves Tuscan cooking, Cristina is open to the novelties of the cooking world. As she likes to keep up with the latest trends on the cooking front, Cristina is a keen follower of the culinary arts and innovative techniques.

What is more, Cristina is the one and only expert in pastry arts and in the visual aspects of food presentation (decoration and the use of special food plating utensils) A perfect teacher seeking new culinary challenges and experiences.

Palmiro Bruschi

Palmiro Bruschi

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Palmiro Bruschi was born in Sansepolcro on August 31 1967 and is married with three children. He and his wife, Pina, are fully qualified in this sector of the catering business and ensure that the ice cream products are made with both skill and quality.

Since the beginning, Palmiro Bruschi has been an assistant to the ice cream Grand Masters in "Arte Dolce" in Rimini and "C.a.s.t. alimenti" in Brescia Professional Center, where he obtained his Diploma of Merit. In February 1994 he achieved the title of No.1 Italian Champion Ice Cream Maker and in March 1997 he became a Member of the Italian Ice Cream Academy. Furthermore, he has contributed to the opening of numerous ice-cream parlours not only in Italy but also abroad and is a qualified teacher for the production of homemade ice cream.

He has also appeared on many Italian T.V. programmes: Uno Mattina, Linea Verde, Festa di Classe, Gelato al Limone, La Vecchia Fattoria, Trenta Ore per la Vita, l'Italia in Diretta, Cucinone, La prova del Cuoco and on Gambero Rosso and Alice... Articles have been written about him and his expertise in: Gambero Rosso, Topolino, Il Sole 24 Ore, Auto d'Epoca, Sale e Pepe, Buon Appetito, Gelato Artigianale, Pasticceria Internazionale, Madia, Gola, Dolce e Salato etc.. Italy Daily (International Herald Tribune) and so on. With his well-known "CARRETTINO" he has taken part in a variety of important events "Giro d'Italia", the "Mille Miglia", the "Transalpinica", the "Salone del Gusto" in Turin, the "Rally of Bianchine", Eurochocolate in Perugia in Rimini, in Switzerland and in the Opening of the Gateway of the Republic of San Marino, etc..

He also worked on the "Costa Classica" Cruises. A very important moment for Palmiro Bruschi was the invitation to take part in the Renaissance Banquet, as representative of the Art of Italian Ice Cream, at the Festival "Italy in Japan 2001" held in the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, with the presence of members of the Japanese Imperial family. Since then he has assisted in "BELLA ITALIA" exhibitions in Melbourne, Nice, Hong Kong and Dubai. In 2010 he begins a cooperation with industrie IFi in the project "AFFRESCO" and with "BREAK AND GO".

Massimiliano Catizzone

Massimiliano Catizzone

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The chef of innovation and Mediterranean food passion. He adds his own personal touch in all his food preparations in order to achieve menus where the simplicity of raw materials is combined with new food pairings thus creating tasty and well balanced dishes. He is specialized in pastry and ice cream making. He is also a member of Euro Toques Italia, and has taken part in several competitions. In 2016 he wins a bronze in dessert making and food service categories in  the Italian Championships organized by FIC (ITALIAN CHEFS FEDERATION).

In 2014 he wins a bronze at the Internazionali  d’Italia in Massa Carrara, a competition open to the best Italian and foreign chefs. He has been working as executive Chef at Florian Cafè since 2015, where he brings his creative cuisine in the refined restaurant located in Florian Contemporary Art Gallery. Faithful to tradition which influences his new and personal dishes with a special Mediterranean taste, he combines innovation and creativity with authentic flavours. “My cuisine is mainly Mediterranean” , says Chef Catizzone. “ I love combining the different flavours of one area  and creating superb dishes. I also love experimenting with ingredient consistency combining, for example, crunchy and soft textures and creating a new sensation without altering the balance of the raw materials used”.     

Tommaso Cintolesi

Tommaso Cintolesi

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I've been working in the restaurant business for three decades, and I've explored culinary experiences in various parts of the world pushed by my curiosity to learn more.

Now I specialise in fish and work with an eye to the past, the present and the future. In my lessons, the students don't only learn about recipes and preparations, but they also experience a multitude of culinary sensations.

Stefano Donati

Stefano Donati

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I have been working in Pastry making for more than 20 years

  • 1986-1991 I worked in a Cake and Pastry shop (Jolly) in Prato as pastry assistant.
  • 1989-1991 I studied at I.A.P.A.F. in Florence (Florentine Professional Institute) and obtained a Certificate as 1st Patissier
  • Since 1991 I have been working in MANNORI pastry shop in Prato (World pastry champion) as head pastry chef.
  • In 2000 I held a course on dry cakes and non-fridge cakes in Perugia during the EUROCHOCOLATE event.
  • In 2001 I attended a 45 hour course on airbrush techniques for cake decorating
  • In 2005 I collaborate with Mannori in the "cioccolateria Mannori Espace" gaining experience in chocolate making
I specialise in:
  • Zucchero colato-tirato-soffiato e modellato.
  • Zucchero pastigliagio per strutture.
  • Pastigliaggio Giapponese per fiori, foglie e decorazioni in genere.
  • Cioccolato: strutture artistiche, oggettistica varia, uova di Pasqua, pralineria assortita In questi anni ho partecipato a vari concorsi di pasticceria ottenendo il titolo di Campione Italiano 2000
Concorsi di Pasticceria
  • 1998: Sigep D'oro, artistic chocolate (Rimini)
  • 1999: Super Sigep D'oro, assorted praline tasting (Rimini)
  • 2000: Gran Prix di Montecarlo, 1° class. Camp. Italia (Montec.)
  • 2000: Trofeo Europeo Cointreau (Francia)
  • 2001: Siab concorso di alta pasticceria 2° class.(Verona)
  • 2001: Dolc'è capolavori in cioccolato 1° class.(Torino)
  • 2004: Selezione coppa del mondo 1° class.(Rimini)
  • 2005: Coppa del mondo della pasticceria (Lione)
  • Since 2006 I have been taking part in various Regional and National assessment committees to taste and assess artistic pastry products
Minjoo Heo

Minjoo Heo

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Teaching: Academic, Amateurs Courses

Classes: Korean cuisine

Korean, born in 1987, Minjoo Heo holds a Culinary Arts associate in science degree from Johnson and Wales University in Providence (Rhode Island, USA).

Arriving in Italy to further her knowledge of coffee and wine, she met Fabio Picchi by chance. From this meeting was born the project of Ciblèo, of which Minjoo has been chef since its opening and for three years, proposing an intelligent "fusion" between recipes and suggestions of a wide Orient and Tuscan recipes and products: Mugello and Casentino with Japan, China and Korea.

He has been collaborating with the School since 2021, with classes on traditional Korean cuisine. Her favorite Italian dish, however, is caciucco, which reminds her of the soups of Korean gastronomic culture.

Gabriella Mari

Gabriella Mari

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A Florentine through and through. Though incredibly fond of fine Italian cuisine for its taste more than its visual presentation, Gabriella is extremely curious and interested in the historical, cultural and traditional aspects of gastronomy.

She is specialized in traditional dishes, and meat, pasta and bread making are her main areas of culinary expertise. She is able to convey her passion for the history of cooking, for eating well, and also for the scientific aspect of food. She is responsible for the cooking programmes for foreigners. A perfect teacher, passionate about her work, and always supportive of her students.      

Silvia Martinez

Silvia Martinez

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Silvia is a biologist and specialist in food safety and nutrition.
High School Diploma (scientific studies) AUDITOR IN AGRI-FOOD QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS December 2004 Ecoutility Company A two-year master course in Clinical and Applied Nutrition. Specialization in Nutrition. Syntonie Firenze 2011 HACCP expert and quality specialist in food-related establishments (2002-Present) HACCP consultancy in food-related private enterprises (small-scale artisanal and industrial enterprises) 2002-Present Collaboration with Centro Servizi Tecnici Soluzione S.r.l. of Florence in assessing work health and safety risks (Decree Law 81/08 in different sector companies;

Biology consultancy especially for implementing food safety programmes (HACCP plan) 2002-2009 Collaboration with Confesercenti Versilia in assessing work health and safety risks, and consultancy work especially for implementing food safety programmes (HACCP plan)2002-2008 Collaboration with CNA Pistoia for food safety programmes (HACCP plan) 2006-Present Silvia Martinez is a member of the National Registry of Certified Biologists n° 053195 sez. A Participation at conferences and seminars on HACCP and quality control. Eco audit (1999-Present) 

Maurizio Melani

Maurizio Melani

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Vito Mollica

Vito Mollica

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Was born in Avigliano in 1971

Education

  • Centro Di Formazione Professionale, Casargo, Italy Obtained the Certificate as Commis De Cuisine issued by the Professional Training Institute
  • Associazione Sommelier Italiana Obtained the certificate of 1st degree and 2nd degree Course as Sommelier.
  • Etoile Institute, Venice, Italy Food Cost Course
  • R.E.C. Membership to the Italian Registry of the Commercial Shopkeepers
Experience
  • Sept '07 (pre-opening) - present : Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Italy (Executive Chef)
  • Oct '00 ( pre-opening) - Aug '07 : Four Seasons Hotel Prague (Executive Chef)
  • Sep '99 - Oct '00 : Four Seasons Hotel Milano, Italy (Sous Chef De Cuisine)
  • Mar '98 - Aug '99 : Four Seasons Hotel Milano, Italy (Junior Sous Chef)
  • Nov '96 - Feb '98 : Four Seasons Hotel Milano, Italy (Chef De Partie)
  • Nov '95 - Oct '96 : Cafe Royal - Grillroom (1 Star Michelin), London, (Demi Chef De Partie)
  • Aug '94 - Oct '95 : Jolly Hotel Carlton, Caruso Restaurant, Amsterdam (Chef de Cuisine)
  • Jan '93 - Jul '94 : Jolly Hotel Plaza, Genova, Italy (Sous Chef)
  • Oct '91 - Dec '92 : Jolly Hotel Milanofiori, Milano, Italy (Chef De Partie)
  • Jul '91 - Sep '91 : Relais Des Alpes, Madonna Di Camiglio, Italy (Chef de Partie)
  • May '89 - Jun '91 : "Mauro" Restaurant, Milano, Italy (Chef De Partie)
  • Feb '89 - May '89 : Gama Hotel, Milano, Italy (Commis De Cuisine)
  • Oct '88 - May '89 : Don Antonio's Restaurant, Manchester, England (Commis De Cuisine)
  • Jun '88 - May '89 : Est Est Est Restaurant, Knutsford, England (Commis De Cuisine)
  • Oct '87 - May '88 : Gama Hotel, Milan, Italy (Apprentice)
  • Jun '87 - Oct '87 : "Principe Di Piemonte, Viareggio, Italy (Apprentice)

Stage
  • October 2007 : Restaurant "Fat Duck" Bray, UK (*** Michelin Stars) March 2003 : Restaurant "French Laundry" Yountville, Napa Valley, California (*** Michelin Stars)
  • October 2002 : Restaurant" Kong Hans Kaelder" Copenhagen, Denmark (* Michelin Star)
  • September 2000: Restaurant "El Bulli", Cala Motjion, Spain (*** Michelin Stars)
  • 15th to 30th July'98 : Les Elysees du Vernet, Hotel Vernet, Paris, France (** Michelin Stars)
  • 1st to 15th July '98 : Le Jardin, Hotel Royal Monceau, Paris, France (* Michelin Star)
  • Sep '96 - Nov '96 : "L'Albereta Of Gualtiero Marchesi. Erbusco, Italy (*** Michelin Stars)
  • Feb '96 - May '96 : "Marco Pierre White" Restaurant, London, England (*** Michelin Stars)

Achievements and Awards
  • Comune di Firenze 2012: Premio "il Porcellino" della citta' di Firenze
  • Guida dell' Espresso Italia 2013: Premio Pommery " Il miglior piatto dell'Anno"
  • Guida Michelin Italia 2012: premia il Ristorante Il Palagio con 1 Stella
  • Guida dell'Espresso 2012: premia il ristorante Il Palagio con 2 Cappelli 16,5/20
  • Premio Arco 2010: Premiato dal Comune di Avigliano Regione Basilicata
  • Ampolla d'oro 2010: premiato dall'Enoteca Italiana di Siena
  • Conde' Nast 2009, Ristorante Il Palagio Hot table List
  • Gallivanter's Guide 2007: Chef's Editor's choice awards Distintivo d'oro della Camera di Commercio Italo/Ceca 2007
  • Zagat guide 2003/04/05/06/07: Allegro Restaurant # 1 Restaurant in Prague
  • Hotels Magazine 2005:Restaurant Allegro: The 10 world's Best hotel dining rooms
  • Grand Restaurant guide 2005/06/07: Restaurant Allegro: # 1 Restaurant in Prague
  • Der Feinsmecker Magazine 2002/03/04/05/06: Allegro Restaurant Best restaurant in Prague
  • Conde' Nast 2002, Allegro restaurant Hot table List
  • Czech Hotels &Restaurants: Best Hotel Restaurant 2002/03/04/05/06
Emilia Onesti

Emilia Onesti

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Emilia Onesti was born in Novara in 1966. At the age of two she moved to Florence with her parents - her father, who was from Novara but with parents from Emilia Romagna, and her mother, who was from Florence but with parents from Mantova. After years of helping her maternal grandmother in the preparation of homemade pasta, her passion for cooking became evident in 1983, with the first edition of the magazine Grand Gourmet.

The study of cooking remained Emelia's second priority during her classical high school education and her studies in Architecture, and during this period she used her culinary skills to prepare meals and parties for private clients. After graduating in Architecture in1992, her culinary interests led her to manage the restaurant of a tennis club on the outskirts of Florence. She worked there for two summer seasons (1993 and 1994) together with Fabio Onesti (her brother, and sommelier), Livia Braini and, later, Cristina Castelli. Her interests turned mainly to Middle Eastern cuisine, a passion born in the 1990s with her first of three trips to Turkey.

For Emilia, every Middle Eastern holiday was simply an opportunity to study the region's gastronomy - from Maghreb to Egypt and Syria. During her stay in Paris in 1996, Emilia had the opportunity to study French and International cuisine. Since 1997, she has been collaborating with Cristina Blasi and Gabriella Mari at their Scuola di Arte Culinaria Cordon Bleu Florence, initially as a secretary and later as a teaching assistant. Several new courses were created from this collaboration: Cucina del Mediterraneo (1998), Aperitivo e Antipasti (2000) and Primi Piatti Regionali (2001). Together with Cristina and Gabriella, Emilia has also worked on the publication of the books "Enciclopedia della cucina mediterranea" (Mondadori, Milano 2004), "La pasta fatta in casa" (BrioLibri, Firenze 2004) and "Pasta Italia" (McRae Books, Firenze 2005).

Her cooking studies have expanded into other areas, such as the research of new techniques for the enrichment of gastronomic traditions in Italy and other countries. Her studies have been enhanced thanks to her unending passion for cookbooks which she has been collecting over the years from every corner of the world. Alongside her collaboration with Cristina and Gabriella, she has published the book Gelato (BrioLibri, Firenze 2007) together with Carla Bardi, and is working as home economist for a book on Italian cuisine (to be her next publication). In addition, together with Luigi Corbacella, Emelia has been managing a website about cooking since 2007.

Marco Ottaviano

Marco Ottaviano

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Marco Ottaviano, born in 1951 in Rome where he graduated in Bilogical Sciences and where he works as a researcher at the National Institute of Health. Following a lot of experience in multinational companies in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment fields. In 1994 he arrived in Florence named in the SMA (Segnalamento Marittimo Aereo). After this experience with other partners founded a company for the production and marketing of high-tech equipment for the rehabilitation sector. But the old passion for gelato, which began as a child when it comes into contact with the grandfather bar gelateria, can no longer wait. After two years devoted to the study of modern production of artisanal gelato, open, with his wife Cinzia, an gelato shop in the historic center of Florence "Il Gelato Gourmet ". Passion and obsessive search of ingredients are the strength of its activities in a short time is appreciated as one of the best gelato shops in Florence. Today is the first ice cream shop in Florence in the ranking of Tripadvisor, and is inserted from the blog Dissapore among the 100 best artisanal gelato stores in Italy. Marco Ottaviano is often quoted in international blogs for its quality.

Since 2017 he has moved his business to Borgo San Lorenzo in the Mugello hills near the producers of milk, dairy and fruit with the desire to use Mugello excellence for ice cream.

Matilde Pettini

Matilde Pettini

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Teaching: Professional, Academic Courses

Classes: Basic Cooking

Matilde Pettini teaches basic cooking in our professional and academic courses. Since 2019, she's the chef and the owner of the Florentine trattoria Dalla Lola (reported in 2023 by the New York Times as one of the must-visit addresses in Florence).

She looks like a little girl, but she is very determined and when she puts on the uniform she becomes as sharp and cutting as her knives, from which she never separates.

Her personal idea of cooking is rooted in the values of sustainability and non-waste and a precise work ethic: to do the best with less. An idea she puts into practice every day both in her dishes and in her relationship with students, whom she often hosts on internships in her restaurant.

Duccio Pistolesi

Duccio Pistolesi

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I am a chef and since 2001 I've been working in the restaurant sector. I finished my studies at the hotel management school in Florence IPSAR Buontalenti in 2005. While I was at school I did an internship in the restaurant Tenda Rossa, a 2 ** Michelin star restaurant (November 2002 until April 2003), and another one in the Spring of 2004 at the Golf Club Ugolino.

After the Diploma I worked at Osteria di Passignano, where I gained a great deal of experience. After I decided to increase my experience in various International businesses around the world. My passion for cooking is based on making the guests happy, and making simple but good food where all my passion and professionalism is visible.

My style of cooking is based on the history of the area where I was born and on the Italian fine tasting of food. I am able to adjust to the needs of the structure and the indications of the direction and I do everything the chef and the general manager want for their restaurant, and I'm always ready to bring my experience and my ideas, if required, to increase the business and the quality of the food.

Marco Romei

Marco Romei

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Marco Romei was born in Florence in 1977 
"Since I was a teenager, I've been attracted to the cooking world, and in time the various experiences have resulted in a specialization in fish and seafood".
My philosophy? T.P.T.= Tecnique, Passion, Tenacity.

Below is a list of his working career:

  • In 1966 he starts as apprentice pastry cook at "Pasticceria Caldana" in Florence 
  • In 1998 he is apprentice cook at “ Alle Murate” of Florence
  • In 1999 he is apprentice cook at “ Trattoria i Raddi” of Florence
  • In 2000/2006 he is head cook at “Ristorante Don Chisciotte” of Florence
  • In 2007/2010 he is Head cook at “Ristorante Portofino” of Florence
  • In 2011 he is Head cook at “Ristorante Fratellini’s” in Forte Dei Marmi
  • Since 2012 he has been Chef-owner of “Ristorante Aroma” in Florence
Marco Stabile

Marco Stabile

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Marco Stabile, born in 1973 in Pontedera, Tuscany, has quickly risen to prominence in Italy.

He developed his skills of subtle invention whilst working in, and contributing to, some of Italy's finest kitchens, including the famed "Baghino" in Prato, "Il Salotto del Chianti", the Antinori-owned "Osteria di Passignano", the Beringer Blass-managed "Cavaliere del Castello di Gabbiano", "Il Paese dei Campanelli" and "Il Chiasso dei Portici" to name a few.

His final stepping stone before opening Ora d'Aria, where he is both resident head chef and co-owner, remains his work at "Arnolfo" in Colle Val d'Elsa (Michelin **) as the right hand man to the incomparable Gaetano Trovato.

Marco is an occasional and warmly welcomed teacher at some of the Italy's most celebrated culinary schools, such as those in Jesi, Montecatini Terme and "Academia del Gusto" in Arezzo. He also remains a committed supporter of, and collaborates with, the prestigious group "Les Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe".

The talented work of chef Stabile over these last few years in Florence has not gone unnoticed abroad either: the last accolade being his prestigious and very recent appointment by a group of Italian investors/entrepreneurs as the sole non-resident Executive Chef of "Toscana Divino"; a very ambitious and innovative, new "restaurant-cum-fashion showroom" concept (all under one roof) in Miami- hopefully, the first in a series - to promote the Italian lifestyle in general and, more in particular, the "excellence" of Tuscany in and across the United States in years to come.

Barbara Zattoni

Barbara Zattoni

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Teaching: Academic, Professional Courses

Classes: Cooking

Historical chef at Enoteca Ristorante Pane e vino from 1980 to 2015, she is an eclectic teacher with an expansive, cheerful and energetic personality. She has been teaching at Scuola since 2016, after a long experience in teaching, with a focus on the relationship between food and health and on sustainable cooking: 'cucina povera', reuse and recovery, waste reduction.

She has been a food designer and ambassador of Tuscan cuisine, which she has represented in workshops and events in Italy and Europe, winning the first international Ma-donna Fiorentina award, promoted by the City of Florence. In 2012 she was the protagonist of one of the famous Cene Galeotte dinners in Volterra prison, promoted by the Foundation Il cuore si scioglie.

She has a real passion for hats, which she makes with her own hands, and in the show-dinner show Cappelli e fornelli she combined this passion with her profession. As an author, she has long collaborated with Corriere Fiorentino in the insert Cultura commestibile, has published several books on the relationship between cuisine and culture and between cuisine and politics, and runs a cooking blog, entitled Alta voracità.

Aroma Italia Labs

Aroma Italia Labs - Mastering the Art of Italian Cooking
Start September 1st
The professional cooking course: 15 lessons + 5 activities to discover menus and milestones of Italian cuisine
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