Our Friends and Partners
Chianti Cashmere began way back in 1972, when Nora Kravis, the creator and founder, left Long Island (NY) for Italy and never looked back. She studied Veterinary Medicine at the Università di Pisa and made a tumbled-down Tuscan farmhouse her home and added two ragged goats which eventually lead to a group of genetically selected Cashmere Goats that produce the raw material for a unique line of exclusive, hand-woven Italian Cashmere accessories, home textiles and sustainable cashmere yarn.
Her goat herd is now recognized nationally and in other countries of the EEC: not only is it the first privately owned Cashmere goat herd in Europe, it is the genetic data base and source for reproductive animals across the country. In an era that has marked the destruction of the small farm, abandonment of acreage once dedicated to farming and grazing, and reduction of the number of herds in central Europe, CHIANTI CASHMERE GOAT FARM, is an exception to the rule, and a model for small-scale agricultural enterprise.
Dario Cecchini is the Dante quoting, cleaver-wielding butcher of Panzano, known around the world as the larger-than-life, maestro of all things flesh. His butcher shop is usually jam-packed with people who are either jockeying for position to place an order with Dario at the meat counter, or elbowing their way to the table along the back wall, with its impressive spread of alluring delicacies that includes a heaping pile of whipped lardo (herbed lard, aged in small marble 'tombs.') Periodically, someone appears from a back room and gracefully slides through the heaving mass of customers with a platter of meats or a bottle of Chianti in hand.
Dario runs three restaurants, including L’Officina della Bistecca, which can best be described as a Temple of Meat. Diners are seated at a long table that stretches the entire length of the narrow room. A few feet away, along the back wall, two large fireplaces are stoked with the hardwood that will soon provide the white embers that sear the special meat for which Dario is famous.
Pornanino Olive Oil
The Lombardi & Boggio Robutti family estate at Azienda Agricola Pornanino has approximately 4,000 olive trees. The family members (Franco, Matteo and Francesca) treasure their Pornanino extra-virgin olive oil for its nutritional and salutary virtues. As totally committed and enthusiastic olive oil producers, they take great pride in the quality of their olive oil. Pornanino Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is a 100% guaranteed top quality, pure unblended natural product, from untreated olive trees, free of chemical fertilizers and preservatives. Their liquid gold is not sold in stores, but is shipped directly to a select clientele of gourmet friends around the world.
In 1984, Seamus de Pentheny O'Kelly moved to France to work with the world famous patissier and chocolatier Bernachon and then the renown restaurateur Paul Bocuse. A year later, he moved to Italy and fell in love with Tuscany and purchased and restored the Castello di Spaltenna in Gaiole while doing a stint as a Master Chef of the Discovery Channel. Upon selling Spaltenna, he opened the Osteria del Castello at the famous Castello Brolio and began teaching cooking lessons. In 2006-7, he finally turned his dream project into reality: a cooking school in Tuscany - Chianti Kitchen.
Giuseppina learned to cook from her Sicilian mother and aunt, and refined her culinary skills working in restaurants throughout Tuscany, expanding her repertoire to include an extensive array of regional cuisines. Today she runs a highly successful cooking school in Certaldo just southeast of Florence and offers convivial cooking lessons for groups large and small. She has a deep knowledge of medieval and renaissance cooking, famous for a time when the most famous courts of Italy shone with splendor and opulence.