By. Margaux Cintrano
ALL IN THE FAMILY …
Ristorante L’ Enoteca Pinchiori
Like Elizabeth Barrett Browning once said, Florence is beautiful, as I have said before and must say again and again, most beautiful … With this in mind, nestled next to the city’s spectacular Santa Croce Church on the Via Ghibellina, is the 15th century Giacometti Ciofi Palazzo. The impacting portals open into a carpeted corridor leading to the statue of Apollo. To the left is an English Language Learning Institute, to the right is L’ Enoteca Pinchorri, one of the most famous restaurants in Italia, holding 3 Michelin Stars.
Meeting Annie, firstly took place in Toledo, Spain at a restaurant owned by native Toledano Chef Adolfo Munoz during the award ceremony for the only 3 Michelin Star Chef of Spain, Carme Ruscadella in Barcelona and three Italian women, holding 3 Stars, Annie being one of them as she had been seated next to me.
Annie’s background into the culinary world took place about 30 . 35 years ago, when she, the daughter of a Nice, France Hotelier arrived in Florence to study Italian. She had been working in a Paris Post Office and she knew that there was more to life than that, she told me. To earn money, she had become a waitress in a Florentine Trattoria where her long term husband Giorgio Pinchiorri was a waiter closeby. A chance meeting would change their entire lives.
By the time I met Giorgi, Annie had said, he had already worked in some of the city’s best restaurants and had cultivated a taste for fine wines. He did not want to wait tables much longer. He wanted to do something different. Which is exactly what he did in 1973. Giorgi, Annie and some friends discovered the Palazzo was empty and transformed it into an Enoteca.
The Enoteca had become very popular, especially with Florentine high society. At the same time, Giorgio had developed one of the best cellars of Italian, French and Californian wines and Annie had made her evolvement in the kitchen.
So the relaxed wine bar metamorphosed into a fine restaurant. Following in their parents footsteps are, Alessandro and Antonella. The dynamic team and their grown children have since created a world class restaurant. Several months ago, Annie and I decided to set a date for an interview and a light lunch over in Florence only 2 hours away. She has a highly unique cooking style, having studied in both France and Italy. Furthermore, she has a restaurant in Tokoyo, Japan.
Here are the gems we shared …
Pasta Fagioli with pappardelle
Wild Grilled Porcini Mushrooms
Fresh Cod with spinach
Sweet raviolli with seasonal fruit