It’s tricky to get Laura and Gianluca of Cooking in Florence to stay still for long enough to explain what’s next this autumn at their via Ghibellina loft. But once they do pause over a moka coffee and homemade almond-studded cookies, you realize that a culinary extravaganza is in store.
Laura (“The Boss”, her words) meets and greets individuals who arrive as customers and leave as friends, imparting her years of gastronomic knowledge, while Gianluca (“The Gypsy Chef”, his words) flits between stove and sitting area, passionate and personable about the seasonal ingredients spotted at the nearby market. Passion for food is a personal affair, one that this chalk-and-cheese pair have made into their quest down the decades in the trade. L’Ideale connects the dots; you arrive with the outline to your tastes, and Laura and Gianluca will do the colouring in, blurring the lines and bursting with colours, flavours and aromas that you’d simply never chanced upon before.
This is what makes Cooking in Florence stand out: it’s run by passionate, professional food experts who work in a flexible space that’s neither a restaurant nor a traditional cooking school, all based on an honest hunger to reveal Tuscany’s gastronomic specialities.
Tell Laura what you have in mind and she’ll devise the experience for you, whether it’s a significant birthday or milestone anniversary, a reunion among old friends, corporate teambuilding or a cooking class with family. The bliss of the via Ghibellina space is that it can be tailored to your needs, whims or desires, for cooking, eating, drinking and dancing. Before your eyes, Gianluca will whip up dishes to delight your taste buds: classic but surprising recipes that acknowledge the region’s past while embracing its present, from flavourful canapés to freshly baked bread made with ancient grains, fresh egg pasta with meat sauces like mamma makes, hearty wild boar stews and indulgent desserts. Nothing’s overly technical or pretentious, and there’s not an avocado in sight (well, perhaps occasionally, just for fun).
L’Ideale, the sizeable studio space belonging to Cooking in Florence, represents an Ithaka, idyllic culinary circumstances in which the journey proves more important than the destination.
Here, in via Ghibellina, a whisk away from the seasonal, ever-fresh and curated produce at top local markets, the idea of cooking distances itself from the tried-and-tested restaurant concept to focus on the inherently personal nature of being in the kitchen. It’s a sociable space in which conversation flows at the natural pace of provisioning: steaks from a trusted beef supplier in the Mugello, wines from a friend of a friend’s niche estate, grainy cave-aged cheeses from a maker in the Maremma. Unexpected and unconventional, anything could happen at L’Ideale—and invariably it does.
As the summer comes to a close and autumn draws in, L’Ideale will become a culinary cultural hub with its themed dinners all’italiana.
From mid-October onwards, Laura and Gianluca will welcome fellow foodie friends for gastronomic experiences that in the past have ranged from an evening celebrating Calvana beef reared in the mountains near Prato to a bread, butter and Tuscan Cabernet night.
Cooking Class & Personal Chef
Via Ghibellina 3c\r, Florence
Ph. +39 335 6469869 / +39 338 6248098
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