Féolde at Villa di Zano

Féolde doing a cooking demonstration at Villa di Zano in 1985

When Lucy Gordan, our European Bureau Chief, sent me her interview with Annie Féolde of Enoteca Pinchiorri, I was instantly thrown into a reverie, for as a young man I’d met Annie Féolde during a memorable fortnight in May, 1985. I’d just come off an assignment to Guadalajara Mexico where I’d profiled the Dos Equis brewery for Wine Country magazine, and two days later I was off to Florence to take part in Giovanna Folonari’s inaugural Ruffino Tuscan Experience, a cooking school in her eighteenth century home, Villa di Zano near Greve in Chianti (the Folonari family has since sold the Ruffino brand and Giovanna’s husband and son have formed their own company, with estates all over Tuscany).

The night our press corps arrived, we were treated to a dinner at Enoteca Pinchiorri (where I sat next to Robert Mondavi and discovered I could follow his conversation in Italian). The next day Annie Féolde came to Villa di Zano to give us a cooking demonstration and luncheon. She left us with a few recipes, which I’ve used over the years, including Panna Cotta al’Arancio, and Caramella di Ricotta e prezzemolo.

Giovanna also left us with copies of her recipes, which I’ve used many times over the intervening years. After running the school for a dozen years, she published a cookbook, Chianti Family Cooking, to which I still regularly refer, as the recipes are easy to follow.

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