Flour & Fire is a reflection of chef/owner Valerio Fantinelli’s love of tradition, connection and heritage expressed through his love of artisanal food making and cooking. As well as baking his own bread and making his own cured meats and cheese, he works with the best ingredients from his own garden and local producers.
When you walk into his al fresco dining room – a labour of love built with his own hands – you are transported; it feels entirely possible that you’ve just time-travelled into an older and slower life back in Italy! I was called on to capture the food, venue and chef for his new website, and spent a magical day in Valerio’s company talking, shooting eating..
A second shoot was scheduled for a Saturday night with a dinner for twelve. Valerio’s gorgeous wife Anna steps in as front-of-house and their seamless teamwork makes us feel as though we are having dinner at a friend’s house. In a clever move to get strangers talking and bonding over great food, the evening begins at the stand-up bench with aperitivos, and by the time we all sit for the main course we have merged from two groups of six into a noisy table of twelve.
Throughout the evening every dish is explained in detail; its origins and processes, historical significance and some of the modern twists Valerio has added to make them his own.
Photography: Harriet Harcourt