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Caino.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and hotel in the country. Italy,Montemerano

Valeria Piccini

Chef
Caino Montemerano I-58014

I was born into a family of lovers of fine food where my mother and grandmother used to cook for the pleasure of those around them. I became a chef from sheer passion, and never went to a vocational college.

I studied the sciences and have a degree in chemistry. However, from a very early age, my mother and my grandmother taught me an appreciation for the fine touch and traditional cuisine – which I retain to this day amidst my innovations.

I started to cook at the end of the 70s in the family restaurant, without any other professional experience. My mother-in-law was a tremendous help and in 1987 she left me in sole charge of the kitchen. My husband, Maurizio, takes care of service, reception and the wines.

It was hard work to get the ‘Caino’ known outside our own little world in the Maremme, the ‘Camargue of Tuscany’, even though we had won two Michelin stars. Joining Relais & Châteaux helped to make us known around the world.

My cuisine sets out to be simple, which doesn’t mean that it does not seek to be creative, full of flavour and balance, aiming at virtually perfect flavours. I want our guests to get a sense of the emotions and love I put into to it.


What was your most moving culinary experience?
It’s an everyday thing. What’s most important is that our guests get a sense of the love and passion I feel for my work. If that message is communicated, then I too am happy.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Never forget your past, nor where you come from. That’s the source of inspiration and knowledge for your new recipes.


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