- Words by Raffaella Prandi
- Photos by Sofie Delauw
Da Caino trattoria, thanks to that young woman’s talent, has become one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country. Two Michelin stars have sparkled for fourteen years over the sky of Montemerano, the medieval village in the Maremma Grossetana area and location of the Relais & Cha- teaux chain that includes Caino. But it is the echoes of an ancient past and of solid Tuscan bases that characterise the most authentic aspects of its cur- rent menu. Like the trio of classic Flor- entine tripe, lampredotto (cow’s stom- ach) and warm tripe salad; so perfect that it could be a banner for Made in Tuscany raised around the world.
Valeria has gone forward by always looking back, with balance, wisdom and sensitivity. With the brusque man- ner of a red-blooded woman, she moves in the kitchen like a mother bear weaning her cubs. She blindly trusts the three youngsters (Paolo Me- neguz, Alessandro Enrico Sciortino, Marco Franceschetti) who have been with her for some time, sending them proudly out into the dining room to re- ceive compliments and applause.
The ‘team’, living in a village surround- ed by bucolic landscapes, sheep and Etruscan ruins, has transformed into a tight family, working happily side by side. Valeria directs, offers, checks and tastes. They, respectfully and with youthful enthusiasm, suggest new directions, new solutions. She has taught them how to handle wild boar, suckling pigs and lambs with their bare hands, delivered whole and then processed in the adjoining workshop.