What is it that first attracted you to working with bread and pastry?
I always loved the precision of the pastry world; my first teacher showed me the world of the Lievito Madre, the Italian levain used for Panettoni and Italian dough - it was love at first sight! Day by day I worked with dough, flour and levain, a complicated world but an immensely unique one. In London, I lived near a bakery; every night walking home after work, I smelled this incredible fragrance of fresh bread, so I decided to apply for a job there. That's where it all took shape!
Flor Bakery is a relatively youthful business and there’s lots to do everyday. What is it that excites you about coming to work most?
Well, first of all, in a bakery as in a kitchen there is always something to do, so you never stop! At Flor, we experiment every day and look to improve every side of the bakery, from the logistics, to the organisation of the space, to the choice of the ingredients and the improvement of our products, from our croissants to our breads. Working with such incredible organic and sustainable ingredients which fluctuate every day, our approach changes according to the product and that's the most exciting part!
Davide, you bring with you a wealth of experience from various bakeries and kitchens around the World. What is the weirdest thing you’ve been asked to create?
With one chef in Italy, one September we received the first Porcini mushrooms from the mountains and we ate a risotto as a staff meal. Then, we ended up doing a dessert of a Porcini risotto, with different texture and 14 elements on the plate - absolutely stunning!
Is there anything you think needs real and urgent change within the world of hospitality and culinary arts?
It'd be great to create a better recycling system, where there is less waste. I'd like there to be more teaching on how to use all parts of ingredients. I want to show our customers to appreciate a product that is 'good' by virtue of it being made of recycled ingredients. Developing a no waste system would help everyone - not just the world of hospitality!
They say Italians do it better. Who is your favourite Italian personality and why?
I have always been inspired by Italian Movie Director Paolo Sorrentino, and his idea of Great Beauty. Over the years I've asked many people their opinions of 'beauty' - which is really different in each of us. My personal idea of beauty is in the perfect imperfection of the raw material - that beauty which nature gives us.
If you had to live on a desert Island and could only bake one item for the rest of your days..what would it be?
I suppose on the island there are palm trees, so I would love to prepare coconut brioche - a typical Brazilian sweet treat!
Your staff meals are already the stuff of whispered legend. What do you think makes for a good staff meal?
When I was a child I was taught to open the fridge and cook with what I had, practicing not only creativity but also working with new combinations of flavour - today I still do that! I open the walk-in fridge and I cook with what we have, making as little waste as possible and, of course, good food!