Our House Motto and Food Philosophy

Our house motto is :

“Cucinare è Voler Bene” – To “Cook is to Love”

taken from a 17th century domestic text. Our shared passion has grown over the years to the point of becoming a beautiful obsession with traditional Tuscan recipes, ingredients and, by consequence, the local origin of the ingredients.

My arrival in Tuscany many years ago from a sun-starved England and my introduction to the year-round availability of fantastic sun-nurtured natural seasonal ingredients, fanned the flames of a healthy interest in cooking to the point of inflagration and an exciting exploration which has never disappointed me. Local mothers and grandmothers have become familiar over the years with my requests to show me how they create their traditional dishes handed down through generations. My Florentine husband remembers vividly his grandmother preparing traditional Tuscan and Florentine dishes and is able to recreate the recipes and the preparation.

For my husband and I it is inconceivable to be a true foodie without having a parallel interest in the origin of the ingredients. This has led us happily down many a farm track in search of small producers of products of excellence.

Where possible we do as little as possible with our natural ingredients – the stone ground maize flour stirred for one hour to a steaming polenta – speaks for itself, as does the home-made pasta made with stone-ground natural flour. Our recipes are based mostly on traditional Tuscan dishes tinted from time to time with dishes from other Italian regions, and the best of English desserts.

GREETINGS FROM US

Our restaurant has grown out of a mutual passion for food and natural ingredients which has gradually ousted both our former careers – Marco’s in antique prints from the 1700’s onwards - and mine in charity fundraising.

For many years “Why don’t we open a restaurant” was a mutual escapist comment until one fine day Marco’s voice took on a serious tone. Two years later, having searched for a location all over Tuscany and eventually decided on restructuring the mill room of our 15th century watermill home 30 kms south of Florence, we were able to open our intimate country restaurant.
We are thrilled to see over and over again how enthusiastic our clients are when they find us and share in this experience nominating repeatedly ours a restaurant of rare charm. It confirms our belief that a thoroughly welcoming once-upon-a-time country setting with personal service and traditional dishes based on local quality ‘slow’ ingredients, is what many people nostalgically seek but rarely find.

HOW OUR CLIENTS HAVE GROWN OUR RESTAURANT

Cooking Lessons; Intimate Country Weddings; Special Occasions
Our wonderful adventure has taken unexpected turns as a result of the requests of our clients.
People who fall in love with Il Mulino have persuaded us to provide cooking lessons for friends and family, or “round the kitchen table experiences” as we like to call them.

We have also been persuaded to host intimate Country Weddings and Garden Parties for between 30 and 45 people; First communions with a relaxed country feel and special occasion celebrations.