From Kitchen to Table
Food is an integral part of the culture in Italy. The people take such enjoyment in every aspect – from the shopping at the grocery stores or local outdoor markets, to the preparation in the kitchen, and finally, to the sharing of the food with family and friends. The aim of my project was to capture each of these steps in one particular restaurant over the course of one day, essentially from “kitchen to table”.
Baldovino Trattoria & Pizzeria, located just around the corner from Piazza Santa Croce in the historical center of Florence, serves quality Tuscan food, and is a favorite of both locals and visitors alike. Founded by David Gardner in 1995, Baldovino was originally a pizzeria, famous for its wood-fired oven. After an interior makeover last year to a more “chic-bistro” style, it’s menu today has expanded to include first and second courses and a wider selection of wine, as well as breakfast and coffee, served at Baldobar just next door in the mornings. Staffed by a group of friendly waiters and chefs, it was a privilege to capture the behind-the-scenes workings of such a restaurant.
From the preparation of the appetizers by chef Franco, who has worked there for many, many years, to the creation and tossing of the tasty pizzas into the wood-fired oven by chef Paolo, to the cooking of the main courses in the kitchen headed by chef Henry, each plate of food was treated with precision and care. They serve many of the traditional Florentine dishes, such as affettati misti, pappa al pomodoro, pappardelle al cinghiale, and bistecca alla fiorentina, as well as a variety of different pizzas.
In the intimate, candle-lit atmosphere, it was clear that there were many returning guests, some coming up to the open kitchen to watch the preparation of pizza and bruschetta, and to chat with the staff. With their combination of great food, ambiance, and staff, it seems that Baldovino will remain a popular restaurant for a long time to come.
By Haylee Chugerman