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Pentola dell'Oro

Giuseppe & Margherita Alessi

(old style couple, born in the first half of the nineteen hundreds, married without previous divorces) With their son Matteo they manage and animate "La Pentola dell'Oro" research, experimentation, elaboration and hands on experience of Tuscan cooking, table manners and etiquette.

GIUSEPPE, ex musician and artist, born and living in Florence, educated in an artistic environment, and author of three books on recipes, history and the philosophy and art of cooking (Etruschi: Il Mito a Tavola, 1985 - Alla Pentola dell'Oro, 1994 - Dalla Pentola dell'Oro, 1996). He contributed articles and a cookery column to newspapers (La Nazione - Paese Sera - Firenze Mattina) and specialist magazines (Diana Caccia - Ristorazione Romana). Today, in Florence, he is portrayed as the chef-researcher-historian-philosopher who is the nearest and most correct interpreter of the great Tuscan-Florentine humanistic rebirth tradition, that is to say the cooking culture of the reawakening of the ability to create tastes by harmonising sensuality and know-how. This, without losing sight of the "scientific" aspect of the handling, combination, cooking and nature of the food, but with ample and continued esoteric and alchemic-astrologic digressions. In the search for the truest and deepest dimension of COOKING-EATING, conceived as a privileged practical go between to stabilise the best, most direct, correct, harmonious and exultant rapport between man, nature and the world as well as between microcosm and macrocosm.

MARGHERITA, ex dressmaker and hand embroiderer, originally from Mugello, with an enormous experience of household affairs, she collaborates on an equal status with her husband in the management of their activity. At the Pentola dell'Oro she is the main artisan in the practical daily preparation of the food which is consequently strongly impregnated by her rural sensitivity and at odds dialectically with the urbanity of her husband (he is Gemini/air/fantasy - she is Pisces/ water/practicality) producing a natural spontaneous realisation of that synthesis which, throughout time clearly represents the most apparent and fundamental characteristic of the Tuscans : the admirable integration of the country and city cultures which the photographer Santioli amply demonstrates in his photographs of the Tuscan landscape.e.

Matteo

(son of the second half of the nineteen hundreds, as well as of Giuseppe and Margherita)

He represents and completes the circle of the couple : the man son of the Earth and the Sky. The product of an otherwise sterile relationship without future : Matteo is la Pentola dell'Oro, looking towards and projecting into the third millennium, the critical progressive element with which tradition is compared in order to be renewed and perpetuated. He is like a note out of tune in the harmonious scale which is pushed ahead dynamically even if transgressive and disturbing. The confirmation, in cooking as in music, is in life; from the maxim of Eraclites the philosopher of fire and of eternal transmutation of all things: "it is contrast which creates harmony".

Which results in an indigenous/local cuisine but with a cosmopolitan air unique to Florence for its typical "Courtly" dialect, but at the same time also "illustrious " as is the "Volgare" Florentine language of the thirteenth century (very fertile humus in which this cuisine digs its roots) which, being very noble, was confirmed with Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio, as the national language. A refined domestic cuisine, therefore, aristocratic and popular. At the Pentola dell'Oro every day, thanks to the hand (glorious hand ?) of the ALESSI family, it is a conservative and innovative cuisine at the same time, parsimonious and ostentatious, chaste and licentious, Christian and Pagan, sedate and mocking.

Is it an ambiguous cuisine ?
Maybe
It is ambiguous like the Florentine who better than anyone personified and sung the praises of this ambiguity innate to the Tuscans and of the time in which (time of the humanistic "reawakening ", time of "gratitude") the Florentine cuisine/art/culture definitively confirmed its peculiar characteristics and imposed itself on the whole world : Lorenzo di Piero de'Medici.
He was called "the Magnificent".


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