My name is Chiara Latini, I am a fourth Generation Restaurateur who happens to LOVE Food, Wine, and Cooking. I am curious by nature and love to taste and test foods.
I was born and raised in Florence by an American mother and Italian Father who were also food obsessed persons. As a child and youngster we travelled extensively and most of our journeys revolved around food. My father adored France, and Christmas vacations were spent traveling and eating in France. Oh, the Fois Gras! An implosion of flavors right in my mouth! Every day was a new discovery, a new adventure. I do think that children have more sensitive palates than adults, so having had the opportunity to taste incredible foods at such a young age was only the beginning…
I was raised in Tuscany, land of delicious, simple, unsophisticated food.
I spent many a summer with my grandparents who had a home in the countryside overlooking San Gimignano. My grandmother (as most grandmothers are) was an amazing cook. She would start cooking early in the morning and by the time I walked in the kitchen, a big pot of broth would be stewing, meats would be braising and breakfast was ready: 2 slices of day old bread with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil. ‘Pane e Pomodoro.’ The perfect breakfast.
Lunch was served around noon and we usually had succulent, braised meat (usually rabbit or chicken) and a lot of vegetables and bread. Braising is an art which can only be mastered with time.
As a young adult I kept on traveling and eating. I moved to the States when I was 19 and became enchanted with Asian Cuisine. The American Half of me is Chinese. I grew up eating Chinese food, but once in the States, I discovered other Asian cuisines: Thai, Japanese, Indian and Indonesian. Oh my, was I enthralled with all these new sensational, and tantalizing flavors! I studied South East Asian History. I was fascinated with Colonial History….but that’s another story.
I returned to Italy, moved to Certaldo, which is where I am now and I keep on reading, trying new recipes, and drinking wine.
In the meantime I studied in Lyon, France at what is now called the ‘Institute Paul Bocuse’
I am also a professional Sommelier, having taken the 3 year ‘Associazione Italian Sommelier’ Course