DESINARE is an old-fashioned Florentine term for that time of day when the family would gather around the table to eat. It refers not just to the act of dining but to the ritual of conviviality, the need to take a break from work to talk, exchange ideas, renew the bonds of love that have long been at the heart of our domestic culture. Inspired by this concept, we wanted to create a place that was open to food in the broadest, most all-encompassing sense of the term: not just a source of pleasure and sustenance, but a repository of knowledge, ideas and emotions.

DESINARE is a contemporary space with an old soul, a space for learning and new gastronomic experiences in the company of people who recognize the incredible value of food culture and its ability to convey the many emotions, both great and small, of everyday life. It’s a new type of cooking school, a fusion of culinary knowhow and artisanal style in a convivial setting that lends itself to courses, demonstrations, tastings, social gatherings, events, and presentations, alongside a cookshop that reflects the DESINARE philosophy of quality and tradition

DESINARE was created inside the fascinating Florentine workshop and showroom of Riccardo Barthel, an eclectic and influential family firm that bridges the worlds of interior design, fine craftsmanship, antiques, restoration, and Tuscan lifestyle. DESINARE was conceived as a natural extension of the refined yet authentic domestic world created by interior design genius Riccardo Barthel, a place where age-old craft wisdom meets contemporary aesthetic sense, where the pleasures and culture of the table can be shared.

Who we are

DESINARE is the child of a passion shared by Francesco and Claudio, a passion for fine food and wines, and their desire to create a place where some of the most brilliant and talented stars on the Italian wine-and-food scene can share their knowledge and experience with other enthusiasts.

  • Francesco Barthel

    Our host is a passionate food lover, but he also appreciates good taste in all things.
    Francesco was born into the family business and from his earliest days he has lived and breathed its spirit of expert craftsmanship and had his sensibilities refined by its search for beauty. Today, with the launch of the DESINARE project, Francesco hopes to create a dialogue between the worlds of design and food, a modern, engaging, exciting dialogue that brings together all that is good, beautiful and authentic.


  • Claudio Mariottini

    After obtaining a degree in economics, Claudio opted instead for a career in marketing and communication, creating his own advertising agency, The Branding Crew, whose roster of prestigious clients hail from the worlds of fashion, yachting,
    design, wine, and the restaurant industry.
    But his passion for good food, both as a cook and as a keen gourmet,has never abandoned him. Claudio brings to DESINARE his skill and experience in fleshing out ideas and turning them into well-structured projects – and just as importantly, making them work.


The Chefs

  • Enrica Della Martira

    Enrica is just over thirty, lives the life of a commuter between her two favorite cities, Florence and Milan, and has a passion for fashion and food.

    She is also one of the most popular faces on the new Italian food scene.

    A cook and entertainer, she won over television audiences, who appreciated her skill and talent during the 2013 edition of MasterChef, in which she arrived at the finals!

    Now, her fans can enjoy her smile and culinary flair during the courses she will hold at DESINARE.

  • Arturo Dori

    One of the chefs we have to thank for the profound renewal of the Tuscan culinary tradition, Arturo was at the helm of Il Cavolo Nero, one of Florence’s most highly-regarded restaurants, for more than fifteen years. An eclectic experimenter and passionate observer, he now works as a home chef for exclusive private clients. Arturo shares our passion for quality, and as a cosmopolitan Florentine, he is fully in tune with the DESINARE philosophy of an exclusive space in which Italian gastronomic culture encounters the world.

  • Alessandro Frassica

  • Maria Valiani

    Behind her elegant style hides a young woman with great character and technique.

    Maria Valiani’s talent is multifaceted: expert sommelier, food lover, and engaging teacher, she is equally passionate about wine and art, which she interchanges and includes—in an extremely organic way—in her lessons. Creative and selective in her choice of products, Maria combines simplicity and tradition with a curiosity for international flavors in each of her dishes.

  • Cristian Giorni

    A real tuscan with a pure passion for its traditions and for the fruits each season offers us. He “was born” in 1997 when he opened the first “vinoteca” with a kitchen in the Chianti area. Then he decided to be a sommelier studing and working in the uk as well; but cooking got the better of him when he started experience himself working is few well-known florentine restaurants.

    His own rinaissance and the return to the origins took place in 2013 when he decided to dedicate himself to the veganism so to the only goods the soil gives us.

    He gets inspired from the products periodicity bringing at Desinare an irresistible vegan experience.

  • Michela Starita

    Michela has been passionate for cooking since a long time and today she is a personal chef. Born and raised in Pescia from a Venetian mother and a father from Campania, she began preparing baked products (sweets and raised) and since that moment, the “cheffa”, so she’s called, devoted herself to create recipes that combine her love for Middle Est with the culinary tradition of her parents’ native lands. A match that finds in DESINARE the perfect partner for inspiring cooking class.

The Wine Experts

  • Leonardo Romanelli

    A writer, journalist, and restaurant critic, Leonardo has survived 50 years of living dangerously, indulging his love of wine not for its own sake but out of endless curiosity and the desire to disseminate the art of eating and drinking well. Involved in wine and food education for the past thirty years, Leonardo is also a playwright and a radio presenter; on Saturdays you can hear him co-hosting the Radio Toscana show Alla faccia del colesterolo with Alessandro Masti, and for many years he was a juror on the panel of the TV show Chef per un giorno on the La7 channel. At DESINARE, Leonardo will hold courses dedicated to food & wine pairings, with the aim of showcasing some of Italy’s leading grape varieties and illustrating the foods and dishes they work best with.

Setting, Presentation & Etiquette

  • Sofie Delauw

    Sofie divides her time between Tuscany and her native Belgium. A photographer specializing in food and table photography, she has many clients in the editorial and advertising worlds, including Architectural Digest, La Cucina Italiana, Travel & Leisure, San Pellegrino,, Bargiornale, as well as the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium. In her food imaging courses for DESINARE, Sofie will share with photo enthusiasts her tips and tricks for taking perfect food and table-setting pictures.

  • Francesca Fumagalli

    A fresh, sharp, fun point of view is what defines Francesca’s approach to photography.

    Chromatic lightness and an eye that catches all details and paints the atmosphere that surrounds it are the main elements of her work.

    Her passion for food and beautiful places created Francesca’s “fatal attraction” for Desinare, from which all the participants of her Food Styling courses will surely benefit!

Location for events

Desinare’s exclusive and surprising locations are the result of careful selection inspired by Riccardo Barthel’s unmistakable style and an extensive knowledge of the most intimate expressions of the city and the region, both historical and private, from cozy settings to spaces best suited for welcoming large groups of guests.