Where were you born and where do you live?
I was born in Rome and I live in Cavriglia, in the province of Arezzo.
How was your passion for pastry born?
My passion for pastry was born during my university years; I had more pastry books than architecture. When I was under examination to relax I would start preparing sweets and I already dreamed of to be able to do this job, but convinced that one had to start training at a very young age, I didn’t think it was possible for me, just an unattainable dream.
Can you tell us something about your studies? What about your career path?
After graduating in architecture, I left for Colorno to attend the pastry school at Alma, the international school of Italian cuisine. Later, I completed an internship in Paolo Sacchetti’s New World pastry shop in Prato, one of the best in Italy where I have seen and learned many things. Later, I left for London where I worked with Chef Antonio Bufi for Moreno Cedroni’s restaurant inside the Baglioni Hotel.
Back from London, Paolo Sacchetti called me back to work with him in the winter months. Then, I had several experiences in restaurants and hotels in Florence and then landed in 2018 at the Brunelleschi Hotel and the Santa Elisabetta Restaurant to work with Chef Rocco De Santis.
Have you always worked in the world of pastry and catering? Do you like this sector?
Unfortunately, I started working in the restaurant business late. I like this sector very much because it gives you a lot of satisfaction. Just knowing that there are customers every day who can taste my dessert is a unique gratification for me. Mine is also a very hard, tiring and full of sacrifices work and you can only do it if you love it deeply.
What exactly does your job consist of? How do you manage the patisserie of a 2 Michelin star restaurant?
My job consists in the realization of all the desserts from A to Z that are offered at the restaurant. The creation of the menu of the dessert menu that changes periodically according to the season, of the pre-desserts that vary every week and the creation of the small pastry shop that is served with coffee and which can change daily.
What do you like most about your job?
The aspect that I like most about my work is the possibility of giving voice to my creativity that I have always carried with me and that my studies have fuelled.
What do you like most about the Santa Elisabetta Restaurant?
Surely the atmosphere of serenity that one breathes with the chef and with colleagues, above all the freedom to be able to continuously experiment with new ideas, in order to improve. Something not taken for granted in this work.
What is it that makes the difference in your work?
In this job you can be very good but if you are not a reliable person, ready to make sacrifices, disciplined, respectful with your colleagues and above all with your work, you will not go anywhere.
Do you take care of the design of the desserts directly?
The creative process of the desserts starts from the confrontation with the chef, to come up with ideas and stimuli that I then throw on paper, through sketches and drawings just as if it were an architectural project. From there, we move on to the realization and preparation. The finished and whipped dessert is made to taste by the chef, the maître and to all the guys who work in the kitchen and in the dining room. We then move on to any changes and improvements and then put it on paper.
What drives the creation of your desserts?
In pastry, tradition is fundamental. We start from that and then arrive at an evolution of the same. Innovation and tradition go hand in hand, as I believe in every field, if you do not study the first, you cannot do anything new and innovative.
Can you tell us something about the Santa Elisabetta dessert menu?
In this last period, I prefer simpler and less complex desserts with a maximum of 3 ingredients. I am embracing the “less is more” philosophy of the great master of architecture Mies van der Rohe, where form follows function and in pastry we could translate it as the aesthetics of a cake following taste.
How much importance do you give to the seasonality of raw materials?
The seasonality of raw materials is very important because it dictates the need to change a dessert. When the season changes, the raw materials change, which in that period can be found in their full flavour.
What is the first thing you like to do when you get to work?
The first thing I do as soon as I arrive at work is to greet all my colleagues, have a flying coffee with them and then look at the list of preparations I made the day before, numbering which are the most priority to be made based on the planned events or reservations and then I start “kneading”.
What do you like to do outside of work?
In recent years, I have discovered a visceral love for plants and flowers that I share with my husband. When I am at home, I garden with him and this helps me to disconnect a little from the routine and to recharge me.
What is your favourite dessert? And which one do you like to prepare the most?
The desserts that I absolutely prefer to eat and prepare are the desserts of my childhood and that is the tiramisù and the tart with plum jam that I make using the same recipe as my dear grandmother Augusta. Simple sweets but balanced in taste and that I never tire of eating.
Which dessert would you recommend today?
Surely, the dessert that I would recommend today from our menu is Mont Blanc, a winter dessert, a great classic revisited but not distorted in taste. The chestnut is present in different textures and the Pomegranate sorbet adds freshness and cleanses the palate.
Why should a customer choose the Santa Elisabetta Restaurant?
From the people who work in the dining room to the kitchen brigade, we are a united team, made up of humble people who work hard and with passion, to make the most of every day and be able to give customers a unique experience.