In Pontassieve, in Chianti Rufina, a farmhouse that surprises, fascinates and entertains thanks to the cuisine of chef Edoardo Tilli who combines chemistry, philosophy and sustainability in one of the most original and cultured experiences on the Italian gastronomic scene.
Edoardo Tilli has been defined in many ways: ancestral chef, game guru, food chemist, but if we were to really try to describe him, we would say that he is a curious master who never stops being a student while continuing to have a lot of fun (in the kitchen).
Self-taught chef, voracious devourer of travel as well as books and life, in 2012 he decided, together with his life and adventure partner Klodiana Karafilaj, to transform his family’s farm and the 7 hectares of surrounding land into an energy-independent farmhouse with a gastronomic restaurant and rooms.
Mine is an extreme ancestral cuisine which, although following the rules of nature, crosses its borders, without limits, except to be overcome by new knowledge.(Edoardo Tilli, chef)
Here, always passionate about creative cuisine, he gives life to his dream of creating a gastronomic oasis totally outside of any already traced route, following the rhythms of nature, but ready to overturn them in search of new flavors and experiments. Having been born in Chianti, a land famous for its wines as well as its meat, as his first challenge he decided to learn how to cook the best steak in the world.
Thus began his experiments which over the years will lead him to study the entire supply chain linked to the production of meat: from the healthy feeding of the animal, to the maturing, up to the production of enzymes, deriving from fermentations, with the dual aim of making the raw material more digestible and healthy, as well as tasty.
An ancient knowledge, which Edoardo draws from cultures all over the world, such as the fermentation techniques of Eastern countries, but also of the Roman garum, which lead him to become a point of reference in Italy, as well as a teacher of maturing at the renowned Scuola Tessieri of Ponsacco.
Only 18 seats, in winter divided between two small romantic rooms with fireplace, while in summer you can enjoy the view of the olive groves and surrounding hills on the beautiful panoramic terrace. And for those looking for “strong” emotions, you can also book the chef’s table on the small veranda, right in front of the grill with kitchen table where chef Edoardo prepares his delicacies.
For the raw material to integrate what is already produced on the farm, Edoardo turns to two trusted allies, just as “extreme” in food as he is: Andrea from Macelleria Mantovani who selects animals even on the basis of their character with an ethical approach that tends to prefer adult specimens that have lived in the wild, and the Badalamenti brothers of Typiqo who, as “neighbours”, deliver the vegetables directly on foot.
There would be so many dishes to talk about: from the welcome meal based on black rooster broth matured for 60 days and savory with roasted chicken garum served in a vintage Ginori porcelain cup, up to the grilled lacquered eel with teriyaki sauce and precious wasabi root grated at the table or the beautiful Acid Risotto with apple in syrup, cypress powder, raspberries and mushrooms.
The meat-based dishes are truly surprising such as, among the chef’s signatures, the Guinea Fowl marinated in chickpea miso and barley, slowly grilled with deer garum and syrup extracted from cypress cuddles and then plated on a toasted sesame sauce and finished with cotton candy, or the deer leg matured for 40 days in its skin which is cut directly at the table and then cooked on the grill. And, inevitable in every tasting, the Vacca, a truly extraordinary old cow steak because Edoardo, after his experiments, really managed to obtain the “best in the world”.
The wine and digestive list is very refined, curated by Klodiana, sommelier and maître d’, custodian of the wine heritage of Chianti Rufina, as well as a selection of real gems from all over the world, especially French.
And to enjoy a worry-free dinner, Podere Belvedere also offers rooms, overlooking the farmyard, which are worth booking even just to try breakfast. Served in white gloves, it is based on all the homemade delicacies on the farm such as venison finocchiona, fig jam and the delicious Maldon salt swirl.
A tasting at the Podere is truly an experience to have at least once in your life: you will be surprised by the taste as well as by the techniques personally invented by Edoardo who will be able to tell you about it at the table with great irony, forever changing the idea you have of food, about life and everything you thought you knew about cooking.
There are so many “secrets” of Edoardo Tilli’s cuisine, including primarily the maturation, fermentation and similar techniques which are based on the principles of probiotics, applied both to meat and vegetables, in a continuous search for noble molds which increase its digestibility, flavor and guarantee its preservation. Seeing is believing: even after the longest tasting, thanks to the enzymes, you will feel incredibly light and with a flat stomach.
Tasting menu: from 100 euro per person, wine pairing from 70 euro