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Dal Pescatore Santini.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux in the country. Italy,Canneto S/O (Mantova)

Nadia et Giovanni Santini

Chef
Dal Pescatore Santini Canneto S/O (Mantova) I-46013

The story of the Santini family starts in 1925 with Antonio Santini, my husband’s grandfather, coming back from the Great War with his wife Teresa – he was a fisherman and was to become a hotelier. With his son Giovanni, my father-in-law, and his wife, Bruna, my mother-in-law, he turned the family home into a restaurant. I met Antonio when we both were studying political and food science in Milan. We married in 1974 and went on honeymoon to France: it was a revelation to us. We discovered the art of good living and fine cuisine. We met great chefs and, back home again, wanted to do the same things as them.

Our two sons Giovanni and Alberto are passionate, in their turn, about cuisine. The eldest, Giovanni, after studying Food Sciences at University, decided to take his turn at the ovens with me and my mother-in-law Bruna.

At Dal Pescatore, our cuisine focuses on the essentials and aims to make the most of the finest natural produce.

In short, our cuisine is a constant search for the truth: a truth that balances simplicity and the enhancement of natural produce.


What was your most moving culinary experience?
We get a thrill in any “great” restaurant and we’re fascinated by the relationship between cuisine and the people who create it. That’s what we find exciting. That’s what we feel when we go to visit the Haeberlin family at L’Auberge de l’Ill in Illhaeusern or Paul Bocuse at Le Mont d’Or in Collonges.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
One evening, our restaurant was full. All our guests were seated, when a terrible storm cut out the electricity and the gas. We lit candles and served some culatello cured ham and champagne while waiting for the electrician to come and put back the current. He came after about an hour and it turned out to be the romantic start to a successful dinner...But it had us in a cold sweat!

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Let the produce take pride of place and combine simplicity, a touch of imagination, rigour and good sense.