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Lionel Poilâne (June 10, 1945 – October 31, 2002) was a French baker and entrepreneur whose commitment to crafting quality bread earned him worldwide renown. His father, Pierre Poilâne started a baking business in 1932, creating bread using stone-ground flour, natural fermentation and a wood-fired oven. Lionel took over the bakery in 1970, continuing the traditional methods. Poilâne is widely known for a round, two-kilogram sourdough country bread referred to as a miche or pain Poilâne. This bread is often referred to as whole-wheat but in fact is not: the flour used is mostly so-called grey flour of 85% extraction (meaning that some but not all of the wheat bran is retained). According to Poilâne's own website, the dough also contains 30% spelt, an ancestor of wheat. In addition to miches, the Poilâne bakery offers rye bread, raisin bread, nut bread, Punitions (shortbread cookies), and an assortment of pastries to its clients. Poilâne is perhaps one of the most famous names in the baking industry today. Poilâne mastered his single product and trained his apprentices in the physical baking process, which he believed to be the most important aspect of his vision. He believed as much of the work as possible should be done by hand, by one person taking responsibility for their loaves from start to finish. Lionel Poilâne laid the basis of a concept he called "retro-innovation"; combining the best of traditional elements together with the best of modern developments. The only deviation from his father's original formula was machine kneading, saving hours of work for his bakers. He was knighted as a Knight of the National Order of Merit for services to the economy in 1993. Pain Poilâne is produced in the Latin Quarter of Paris where it is sold at the original boulangerie on rue du Cherche-Midi. A second Paris bakery on boulevard de Grenelle is located in the 15th arrondissement. The worldwide demand for Poilâne bread is met in a facility located in Bièvres which was built in the 1980s. The Bièvres bakery produces around 15,000 loaves per day in 24 wood-burning ovens which are exact replicas of the ovens used at the Paris locations. These loaves are shipped worldwide. The firm opened a facility in London's Belgravia district in June 2000. On October 31, 2002, Lionel Poilâne was killed when the helicopter he was piloting crashed into the bay of Cancale, off the coast of Brittany. The passengers, Poilâne's wife Irena and their dog, also died in the crash. Poilâne was survived by daughters Athena and Apollonia, who now runs the enterprise. Apollonia is a graduate of Harvard University. Located at 8 rue du Cherche Midi in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the original Poilâne, created in 1932, continues to be the flagship location of a bakery with international renown. In staying true to its founding principles—making high quality bread for all—and in creatively joining the arts of living well and eating well, Poilâne has flourished, offering its savoir-faire across France and all over the world.

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La nascita del Brunello di Montalcino risale all’Ottocento, quando alcuni agricoltori montalcinesi iniziano a sperimentare la produzione di un vino rosso con le uve di una vite tradizionalmente coltivata nella zona. Una vite chiamata “Brunello” o “Brunellino” che, verso la metà dell’Ottocento, viene identificata come una varietà del Sangiovese. Un’uva molto pregiata perché capace di produrre vini da lungo invecchiamento cioè vini rossi di altissimo pregio. Il padre precursore del Brunello di Montalcino fu certamente Clemente Santi. Nel 1869 un suo Vino Scelto (Brunello), della vendemmia 1865, fu premiato con medaglia d’argento dal Comizio Agrario di Montepulciano. Negli anni successivi il Brunello ottiene altri importanti riconoscimenti internazionali battendo i rossi francesi persino a Parigi e a Bordeaux. Per molti anni il Brunello rimase una rarità destinata a pochi raffinati intenditori. E’ solo nella seconda metà del Novecento che, da una prelibatezza per pochi, si trasforma in un simbolo mondiale del migliore made in Italy. Con la nascita delle DOC, il Brunello vive una fase da protagonista ed è nel gruppo dei primi otto vini a cui viene attribuita la denominazione di origine. Nel 1966 il Brunello di Montalcino diventa un vino Doc e l’anno dopo istituisce il suo Consorzio. Nel 1980 è la prima Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita DOCG e da quel momento tutte le sue bottiglie vengono chiuse da un contrassegno di Stato che garantisce la loro provenienza. Tuttavia la produzione del Brunello è ancora troppo piccola per affermarsi su scala internazionale. La prima cantina con una vera rete commerciale è degli anni ‘70 ma il Brunello conquista il mercato mondiale solo dopo il 1980 anche attraverso una crescita del numero delle cantine e delle bottiglie prodotte. Montalcino fa da battistrada anche al turismo del vino italiano con le prime cantine attrezzate per visite guidate e un intero territorio che ogni anno riceve migliaia di visitatori da tutto il mondo. Moltissimi riconoscimenti comprovano la qualità del vino: nel 1999 la prestigiosa rivista statunitense “Wine Spectator” inserisce un Brunello fra i 12 migliori vini del XX° secolo e nel 2006 incorona un Brunello in cima alla classifica mondiale.

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As a designer of experience Federica Piccoli focuses on the inter-connection between land, culture, food and wellbeing. Starting from the personality of the producer/locations, the sensory and emotional experiences are focused on recovering personal rhythm and perception of time and space, and on finding the starting point to fully live blissful moments. "The seven senses of wine", "Tasting ∞ Meditation", and "Esperienze immersive di degustazioni erranti" are examples of designed paths. Wine, chocolate, food and well-being is her passion. She is very active in the land of wine in Italy, from Piedmont Monferrato and Barolo down to Puglia Primitivo passing through Chianti and Montalcino in Tuscany. Federica Piccoli lived abroad for many years, these experiences made her appreciate more and more the importance of appreciating little moments of joy through high quality food and wine that she found in her homeland: Italy. She created a format for wine tasting through the cellars where the wine is produced that one must do at lest once in a lifetime.

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Orecchiette are a pasta typical of Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. Their name comes from their shape, which resembles a small ear. An orecchietta has the shape of a small dome, with its center thinner than its edge, and with a rough surface. Like other kinds of pasta, orecchiette are made with durum wheat and water. Eggs are rarely used. In traditional Southern Italian home cooking, the dough is rolled, then cut into cubes. Each cube is pressed with a knife, dragging it on the board and making it curl (making a cavatello). The shape is then inverted over the thumb. Orecchiette are eaten with broccoli, turnip tops, mussels and mushrooms. Each Apulian family has its own recipe that is handed down from mother to daughter. According to distinguished scholars of Apulian food and wine orecchiette would have originated in the territory of Sannicandro di Bari, during the Norman-Swabian domination, between the 12th and 13th centuries.

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