“When I think about my chocolate I think about a fruit of the earth.
Cacao beans, cane sugar, spices, citrus fruits.
Worked at cold temperature without adding anything else.
I chose to share my work with eight producers which very well know how much earth has to be respected.
Their 'savoir faire' aims to value its fruits at best, realizing products that stimulates the senses and the thoughts of whoever tastes.”
The history of “Caseificio Gennari” dates back to 1953, when Sergio and Maria acquired the “Villa Paveri” cheese factory in Collecchio. Back then, only three cheese wheels a day were produced. In 1974, the production was increased to twelve wheels a day in the new plant in Collecchio, currently in use today. In 1991, the factory was expanded and technologically refurbished with the latest machinery, taking the daily production of cheese to about forty wheels. Today, even Sergio and Maria’s four children work at the factory, which features a warehouse for nearly 35,000 cheese wheels and a state-of-the-art farm for the production of milk. To further enrich the history and the tradition of the company, in 2003 a new sales outlet in Parma was opened right in the historical centre of the town, followed in 2005 by the opening of a delicatessen shop in the centre of Collecchio.
Leonardo Lelli, founder of the “Caffè Lelli” company and, proudly, a coffee roasting artisan, is a professional coffee sampler and an expert coffee gourmet. He selects his coffee directly from his own plantation. With more than 20 years of experience in the coffee industry, Lelli does the roasting process himself, in strict compliance with the traditional Italian handicraft procedure, which requires using hot and light air, tweaking the roasting time according to the quality of the coffee and producing only what is required to accommodate customer orders. Thanks to to an accurate selection of the raw ingredients coming from the best plantations all over the world, and from crops exclusively picked by hand, “Leonardo Lelli” coffee products offer a unique range of exquisite tastes. By varying the purity and the make-up of each blend (including the popular Arabica and Robusta varieties), Caffè Lelli always delight their customers by also offering exclusive limited-edition products.
Dario Loison is the owner of the Loison company, a business that started as a handicraft firm and that determinedly sticks to its original set up, even when dealing with international markets: “Tradition and innovation”, “substance and creativity”, “company heritage and evolution”: these are the guiding principles which continue to rule the way the company works each day. All of this results in a continuous quest for excellent raw ingredients and improving of recipes and procedures within a constant quest for perfection, just as one would expect from a company driven by a true handicraft spirit. That’s not all, though, as the duty of a good entrepreneur is to understand new market trends by attending international exhibitions and to forge strategic partnerships, such as the ever-rewarding one with the Slow Food association to locate exclusive and rare ingredients.
The Mancini Farm produces pasta with durum wheat that is sown and reaped in their own fields. The importance placed in the choice of raw ingredients, the respect for the environment, as well as the combination of innovation and tradition make “Pasta Mancini” a special product. With his new pasta factory, whose location is well established among the San Pietrangeli hills, Massimo Mancini has defined a production process that enhances and maintains all the characteristics of durum wheat. When it comes to cultivating the land, Mancini follows the rules of good agricultural tradition, where crop rotation gives back to the soil what durum wheat has taken out: in order to achieve excellence, as far as quality is concerned, the wheat must be allowed to extract the best nutrients from the soil. The bronze plates and the wooden frames gently work together inside a space that has been conceived and built specifically to produce a very tasty and nutritional pasta with a great appearance and texture. For the first time, durum wheat grows right next to its own pasta factory.
The authentic “Carnaroli Riserva San Massimo” rice is produced in the Lomellina area of Italy, in a picturesque biodiverse ecosystem that is an extraordinary landscape characterised by a vast natural woodland where small agricultural fields meet with acequias, oxbow lakes and swamps. It is exactly here where this rice grows, irrigated by spring water and surrounded by a row of 80 kilometres of biological fruit trees in an environment where the symbiosis with nature contributes to produce a unique and healthy cereal: “The Rice”. As well as being an extremely healthy product, the Riserva San Massimo rice has an incomparable taste. It is a guarantee of success in the kitchen as its unique distinct feature is its special ability to stand firm when cooked.
Matterino “Teo” Musso was born in Piedmont, on 5 March 1964. Musso is a man with a many-sided personality and who possesses great communication skills. He is considered to be the most important representative of a new way of understanding what beer is supposed to be: strictly homemade and, if possible, to be consumed with a meal. “Baladin” is the label he has chosen to take his beer all around the world, as well as the name of a more extensive project made of activities and events related to his personal taste and care, with which he chooses everything that surrounds him. His bond with his own territory and hometown is particularly strong. Teo tries to convey such a bond to all of his productions by using raw ingredients grown in Piozzo, being a firm believer that beer is “the essence of the land”. Photo by Tino Gerbaldo.
In 2004, after completing her Viticulture and Wine-making studies at the Milan University, Arianna Occhipinti decided to make her own wine using the “Nero d’Avola” and “Frappato” red grapes from a vineyard hectare in the Contrada Fossa di Lupo area, right at the heart of the “Cerasuolo di Vittorio” wine production region. Right from the start, her approach to wine making shows a great respect for nature and for her territory. This is why she decided to start managing the vineyards and the whole wine production company by adhering to the standards of biological agriculture whose certifying body is QC&I International. Her wines today are referred to as “the wines of the territory”. She writes: “I love the grapes of my territory, such as Frappato and Nero d’Avola. I can identify myself in their expression and in their being both harmonious, and different, at the same time. Perhaps they are long-lived grapes, but I love their strength of being able to bear both the past and the future together”.
Simone Padoan was born in 1971. His professional career started in 1994 in San Bonifacio, which is ‘a stone’s throw’ from Verona. It is right in this very same place (although with a renovated look) where the “Pizzeria I Tigli” is now located. Their offer is as simple as it is traditional: typical local pizza preparations with a few personal touches in their menu. In 1999, at a moment of personal crisis, there was a turning point in his career. All of a sudden, he decided to question his job and began looking for a new identity. He wanted to investigate and study the matter in depth in order to understand. He managed to achieve all of this also thanks to some of his friends, chefs and bakers who showed him (often through sleepless nights) new top quality raw ingredients, as well as the best baking techniques and bread-making from sourdough. Right from his childhood, Simone had always wanted to follow a career in a culinary environment, but destiny did not allow him to do so. It was just as a result of this research, at this turning point in his life, that he was led to find a point of contact between his two greatest passions: traditional pizza-baking and haute cuisine gourmand preparations.