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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A dynamic and talented writer with several successful books to her name, Luisa is above all else a working mother.
She is a well-known and much-loved face in Italy thanks to her
appearances on TV food and cooking shows like Il club delle cuoche and La prova del cuoco.
A born food lover, she’s always been fascinated by the simple, delicious food that her grandmothers and aunts used to serve up on a daily basis. Commuting between Rome and Florence, it’s this rootsy approach what she will aim to teach in the DESINARE kitchen.
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.
The Wine Experts
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.
An expert sommelier with an outgoing personality, Chiara has one of the most refined palates in Italy. Her passion for the world’s greatest sparkling wines led her to be elected Italian ‘Ambassadeur du Champagne’ in 2012. She has always made a point of finding original and unexpected ways to illuminate the world of sparkling wines. She defines champagne as “a glass filled with impressions and dreams which has immense power over the collective subconscious, making the simplest toast a pleasurable expectation”. Chiara contributes to the website of the famous cookbook Il Cucchiaio d’Argento (‘The Silver Spoon’) as well as the sparkling wine website www.lemiebollicine.it. An economics degree from Bocconi University and a former career as a professor of marketing round off her experience of communications in the wine sector.
Setting, Presentation & Etiquette
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, COOK.inc, 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.
Combining a passion for table setting, etiquette, and cuisine with sensitive, refined taste, Irene is anchored by an instinct for simple, everyday pleasures. There are two common denominators in everything she does: good nature and passion. Dividing her energies between the art of hospitality and her blog, where she shares her entertaining ideas, inspirations and recipes, Irene will soon bring out her first book, Quello che piace ad Irene (‘What Irene Likes’). Irene will head up DESINARE’s table design courses.
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!