“Food, [for us], is inseparable from sharing. There is no great meal unless it is shared with family and friends.” – Jacques Pepin, Chef.
The idea of organic farming and moving out to the country came upon Marco & Daniela more as a choice of life and health improvement rather than as a popular trend the mass media were pushing. The fast-paced chaotic city and all the food choices it offers – albeit endless – from its fast food joints to its gigantic supermarkets were no longer acceptable. Eating healthy has become very “in” lately but it was their desire to go back to their “roots” (literally speaking) and just eat plain old healthy again…and local. But, freed from city chains, it was also their chance to learn how to appreciate nature once again – all the vegetation, the fertile land, the sunsets, the clean air and all the free animals. Nature was to become their teacher.
So it was at this point that it was decided to take an organic vegetable gardening course using the synergistic approach. Then came the bread making and Umbrian cooking classes. After those eye opening courses, the belief that one can and should eat better was of course confirmed. Producing themselves and buying from local producers was the key. The owners then became truly convinced that promoting the “slow” quality of food and wine – even in their own very small world – promotes a better quality of life which in turn means a better existence for our animal friends and a much healthier and safer environment. A slow life philosophy to be reflected upon but most of all to be acted upon.
One can only believe this philosophy when one actually sees with his/her own eyes the amazing vegetables and fruit growing in the garden without using any pesticides or chemical fertilizers whatsoever. A miracle. And then the final leap of faith happens when one eats any of these organic ingredients either on its own or as part of a more complex dish. The proof is before your eyes but most of all, it is literally sitting on your plates and palates.
To this end, Marco and Daniela have “transferred” their newfound philosophy and experience right into their kitchen in order to share it with all of their special guests. Having dinner at the Antica Olivaia means eating together with other guests from all over the world – family style – and sharing good food and life experiences under the twinkling stars along with the fireflies.