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About Relais & Châteaux
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Relais & Châteaux Chef

Valeria Piccini

Relais & Châteaux Chef

Valeria Piccini
Member Relais & Châteaux from 2006
Via Chiesa, 4
I-58014 Montemerano



Menus 100-140 EUR s.i.

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Terminology : t. = tax - s.n.i = services not included - s.i = services included


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.

How do you go about selecting your ingredients?

The term “Alba truffle” means a truffle gathered in the woods in the area around Alba, a town in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont. The finest truffles must be fresh and perfectly ripe, which gives them a wonderful aroma and a firm texture, not too moist.

What is your Chef’s secret to preparing your star ingredient?

White truffles should never be cooked! The best is to cut them into thin slices to garnish a dish with a compatible flavor. The Alba truffle is a unique product, outstanding for its flavor but also, and especially, for its aroma. I particularly like it with eggs and ricotta.

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