Monica and Franca, the cooks of the Locanda di Pietracupa, tell their stories …
Tell us about yourself, and what is the dish that best describes you?
M: After having done other kinds of studies, by chance, I found myself doing this job, discovering day after day a deep interest in its creative aspects. I am indeed very curious, and I love studying, learning, discovering and rediscovering new things, all with great respect for tradition. That’s why the dish from our menu that best represents me personally is the millefeuille of liver pate with vinsanto jelly; it’s a great dish of the Tuscan culinary tradition that, without being overwhelming, is surprisingly intriguing to the most modern and discerning palates.
F: I consider myself a peaceful and spontaneous person, a lover of life and passionate about nature, sincerity in relationships and authenticity in nutrition. I love my job because I feel a sense of serenity and well-being when preparing the dishes, a unique satisfaction in what I’m doing … the dish that I think best represents me is the goat cheese flan with honey and ginger – it has a delicate flavour that’s also a bit spicy. It suits all tastes because it’s simple to prepare yet blends a refined mix of ingredients.
Where do you find inspiration for new dishes?
M: In the kitchen, together with Franca, where we discuss, experiment and “fix things” until we’re both totally convinced the dish is right. The inspiration comes from the need to include a new ingredient in the restaurant menu, something never used before, or from the urge to modify or recompose elements of our culinary tradition.
F: I get my inspiration from the wonderful variety of products that nature has to offer, the raw materials in season, always fresh, stimulate me to create dishes that enhance the properties of the ingredients, always with the right balance between modern imagination and reverence for the past.
Your favourite dish: eaten and cooked.
M: The artichoke “orzotto” with sour green apples and crispy pork guanciale. A marvellous combination of past and present.
F: The liquorice mousse with lemon and mint. My favourite dessert, especially for its originality and freshness.