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I was born (at avery young age) in a flour mill and bread bakery in a little riverside village in the center of Tuscany in March 1952. My earliest memories include the flour mill with its pond, the wooden cogs of the flour mill turning enormous mill stones with booming, rolling sounds that seemed mysterious and magic... the smell of the freshly baked bread in the morning, the crispy crusts that the baker let me taste... and the fear of a mysterious animal, (evoked for me by the mischievous baker), that supposedly resided in dark depths of the coal cellar...

- I remember the trips on a horse drawn cart to deliver freshly baked bread... - I remember very old women...(at least 30 years old!) making delicious smelling dishes for the family... - My palate was imprinted with the aromas of tomatoes, of basil, rosemary, sage, parsley and celery that they used to bring from the fields near the mill... the fish from the river, the home made hams, the chickens and the rabbits from our farm that where part of our diet.

As I grew up, from the time I was little, I always had a keen interest in cooking, watching my mother prepare food for the family, simple, but tasty dishes made with few, but genuine ingredients.
I guess this interest must have been noticed by my parents, in fact they encouraged me to join the catering college in my home town Montecatini Terme, in Tuscany, from which I graduated in 1970. I studied all aspects of restaurant and hotel work as well as French and German, that I speak fluently, and English that I speak and write as well as my mother language, Italian. My cooking classes are routinely held in all three languages.

Chef Paolo Monti, thanks to his background in hotel management, does his own web design, desktop publishing and marketing... all the while managing his busy Hotel Carignano in Lucca !

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Chef Paolo Monti

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