Sono 36 anni che faccio il mestiere di macellaio cercando di migliorarmi nella mia arte e di arrivare al taglio e alla cottura perfetta per ogni pezzo di ciccia.

E’ il mio modo di rispettare l’animale: usare tutto al meglio.
Nella mia bottega, dove è sacra l’ospitalità, potete comprare manzo, maiale e in stagione agnello.
Nei miei ristoranti, dove si mangia tutti assieme in convivio, avrete la possibilità di apprezzare, spero, tutto il mio lavoro nella ricerca della qualità.

Il vino, l’olio, le erbe aromatiche e tante altre cose vengono dalla mia azienda agricola a 3 chilometri dalla macelleria.

giovedì 11 febbraio 2010


A Night in Panzano
by Rowley Leigh
At the beginning of November I went with my chum David Gleave of Liberty Wines and spent a couple of days in Panzano, a small town in the heart of Chianti Classico, half an hours’ drive South of Florence. There I renewed acquaintance with Giovanni Manetti, the completely charming genius behind Fontodi wines, and met for the first time the phenomenon that is Dario Ceccini, butcher, showman and restaurateur whose shop, restaurants and looming presence dominates the commercial centre of Panzano. Dario has been much written about, most especially in Bill Buford’s Heat but seeing is believing.

Together these two men (said by Buford to be sworn enemies, whereas the opposite is the case) work in parallel to develop the gastronomic and farming culture of the immediate locality so that it is an organic (in the true sense) and self sufficient community and a landmark to a wider, international audience. Giovanni, whose estate takes up a magnificent crescent shaped valley on one side of the town has built up a small herd of Chianina cattle at the bottom of the valley where the soil and sun are unsuited to growing grapes or olives.

The chianina is an extraordinary beast, tall, powerful – well capable of pulling a plough up these steep slopes – and graceful in its movements, yet capable of reaching maturity comparatively young and producing meat that is well marbled and rich in flavour. Giovanni’s animals are, of course, as well cared for as any beer fattened Waggyu bullock and, even though this is a non profitable sideline to his day job, capable of being sold for over 4000 euros a piece.

Having spent the night in a guesthouse in the middle of the vineyard with the most stunning views of the Chianti landscape, I became completely converted to the two men’s love and vision for their native town. I walked around the vineyard (Dave and Giovanni were killing time by riding their bicycles the very hilly twelve miles to Radda and back) and noticed whilst photographing the olive grove on the East facing slopes beside my lodging that I was not the only mammal enjoying a walk that morning. After breakfast we met Dario again and I mooted the idea of doing a night in Panzano back at Le Café Anglais. Giovanni, who has already hosted a wine dinner (stunning Flaccianellos from three vintages, and Vigna del Sorbos) at the Café had obviously primed the man because he bounced up and down with excitement even more than usual.

It was a sort of done deal. Back in London and after the Christmas rush, I e-mailed David – my trusty interlocutor and Italian speaker – to revive the idea with the two protagonists. I offered them some dates. It came down to two, the 1st or the 8th of March. Then Dario said he couldn’t do the 8th. Then he said we were all on for the 8th and oh no, he couldn’t do the 1st. So we are on, A Night in Panzano on the 8th. With Dario, I think. And a lot of meat. And wine.

Dario’s last e-mail is a poem:

“First, please know that I am very happy to come to the Café Anglais. My idea for the evening’s menu is to bring Giovanni Manetti’s beef and perhaps to serve it prepared in at least two or three ways, in order to make use of various cuts. I would propose the Bistecche as you asked, but also Carne in Galera Crostini di Sugo di Manzo and Sushi del Chianti (a Tuscan beef tartare). Very happily I would also add the Burro del Chianti and the Tonno, as you have requested.

The beef I will bring was born and bred near the vineyards, on the Fontodi estate, with healthy food, a free life and as easy a death as possible. It found a “good butcher” as the grapes of the estate found a good vintner. And it seems to me that this would be a splendid celebration of food and wine, highlighting the sustainability of Panzano for which Giovanni and I are working.“

It could be a lot of fun. Once we get the meat, a great deal of fabulous Fontodi wine ( Dario, Giovanni and David – to make sense of it all – here at the same time.

Le Café Anglais
8 Porchester Gardens
London W2 4DB
Reservations tel: 020 7221 1415

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