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Portrait Filippo Saporito

Filippo saporito 2

Every night Chef Filippo Saporito – the latest Michelin star to appear in the sky above Florence – sees plenty of stars, simply by looking at the heavens above Florence.
The spectacular Terrazza Bardini – home of the first 'Legend of the Friars' – became his two years ago when he moved to the ancient city from Chianti.
That he now finds one more printed on his uniform after the French guide rewarded his style of cooking, mastery of raw material, elegant but never stuffy atmosphere and attentive care of the dining area, is a true delight to him.


"I longed for a Michelin star for a long time," Chef Filippo says, satisfied. "It is the dream of all culinary creators who dedicate their lives to this art at a certain level.
"We have embraced this new honour well. Those who have not yet visited, remain curious. We know the spotlights are on us and we try to provide everyone with the best service possible. The award will not change our attitude to excellence, or to our goal of offering dishes as a reasonable price".
Within steps of the Bardini museum and magnificent Forte Belvedere, the 'Legend of the Friars' approaches season after season with a loyal and personalised menu, reflecting that philosophy of cooking which won the Michelin star – innovative but linked to the territory, elegant in the furnishings but pleasing to the palate'.
Together with wife Ombretta, Filippo Saporito established a series of seasonal menus. For example, periodically in January you can find snails, funghi or cotechino on the menu, presented as if they were in a forest.

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This 600-year-old villa, which dominates the skyline above Florence, plays an important role in inspiring the choice of ingredients and flavours for the restaurant.
The dish with which chef Filippo conquered the fans at 'Legend of the Friars' is a typical preparation of the region – veal tongue tortellini served with candied lemon, a special green Italian salsa, and the depth of cooking of the tongue itself.
It is one of those dishes that can make an excellent trait d'union between a season and the months that follow, accompanying the gourmet in the gradual passage of flavours from one period of the year to the other.
"These tortellini invokes and introduces autumn cuisine," Chef Filippo explains.
"The presence of the tongue or the green sauce offers two elements traditionally linked to seasonal preparations for milder and cooling weather. But I kept these tortellini on the menu all summer and they were greeted with great interest, even in the warmer months".

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The preparation is quite laborious, but not overly difficult. The tongue is boiled in a laurel infusion, then cooled for a whole day, finally scorched with Sichuan pepper and chopped. The preparation of the gravy is even longer, requiring three days to be seasoned with onion, vin santo, and cinnamon. For the salsa, Chef Filippo chose a classic 'green' Italian base – a combination including parsley, anchovies, garlic, egg yolk, vinegar, capers and extra virgin olive oil. The result is a rich, greasy, enveloping dish, where candied lemon can give a note of fresh acidity, which appropriately compensates the opulent notes on the tongue.
It is in this style of dish that Chef Filippo Saporito is innovative but remains linked to the territory – because it is a dish that is both elegant in the furnishings and pleasing to the palate. It is so characteristic of his style that is has allowed Chef Saporito to join Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe.
And so, waiting for Filippo and Ombretta's young children to transform into a profession filled with great passion, at the 'Legend of the Friars', the pleasure comes as the dominating views over Florence twins with the taste of engaging and contemporary dishes.

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