Divine Dinner at the home of Massimo Listri and Marianna Gagliardi
The Divine Dinners by Cookware Couture takes us on a journey into the private homes of legendary Florentines where we give our hosts the opportunity to Enjoy The Taste Of Luxury.
February 25 2018
The inaugural “Divine Dinner” showcased Cookware Couture’s passion for the art of the dinner party. On a cold February night, the first gathering of its kind was hosted by the renowned Massimo Listri, a distinguished photographer and avid collector of antiquities, in the stupendous setting of his Florence home. Florentines have a great affinity for entertaining at home, bringing people together in a traditional setting to celebrate the craft of conversation and sumptuous food alla tavola. Listri and his partner, architect Marianna Gagliardi, graciously opened their home to lend support for the Cookware Couture dinner.
During the champagne aperitivo, being allowed the full tour of Listri and Gagliardi’s museum-quality home was like kneeling at the high altar of culture at every turn. They bring the art of collection and curation to an entirely new level. “Massimo generously opened his home for a Cultural Salon Florence tour recently,” remarks its founder Jane Guarducci, a guest at the dinner. “Our members were in awe of his jaw dropping artefacts and the way they are artfully displayed.” Perusing through the different salons, each room is completely wrapped in antique art of various sizes or in pieces of mosaics and ancient artifacts; sculptures, marble heads, carved mantle-pieces and large vases stand guard throughout; some walls completely lined with wall to ceiling books, others with shelves upon shelves of ancient and rare curios; all tables laden with boxes, books and rare and eccentric objects of art and exotic curiosities. When there is wall space exposed, the ceilings and surfaces are completely covered in exquisite hand painted frescos. Each room lends a different variation and theme, interweaving layers of culture and living within different expressions of art. “This great house is a constant work in progress,” smiles Riccardo Bacarelli of Antichita'Bacarelli SRL in Via dei Fossi, friends of Listri for many years. “Every time I am invited here there is some new antique being displayed or some new arrangement or work underway.”
Photographing famous palaces and interiors for most of his distinguished career, having been the first person to have ever photographed the interiors of the Vatican Museums, having authored and been included in dozens of design books, organizing countless exhibits of his work, and travelling around the globe to where his profession takes him, Listri is no newcomer to the world of stunning interiors that celebrate beauty and antiquity. Together with Gagliardi, who herself has overseen the reconstruction of Florentine jewel Hotel Cora Villa and the stylishly chic Hotel L’Orologio and whose clients have included Roberto Cavalli, the duo have created an otherworldly abode of aesthetic abundance that might even be a close match for the likes of Villa La Pietra, home of the late Sir Acton, one of the greatest aesthete’s of 20th century Florence. “With his collection and her great design and architectural capabilities,” remarks another guest architect Stefano Bertocci, “the effect is tremendous.”
Upon entering the dining room, the table was set with fine linens, antique silver chargers, crystal glasses and sterling cutlery. It was a sumptuous scene in which to be served from the Cookware Couture silver. The pair of candle-lit crystal candelabrum gave the room a warm glow as the guests waited in anticipation for dinner. Cookware Couture worked behind the scenes with their in-house chef, Briana De Gennaro to create a delectable menu with each of the courses cooked in the silver cookware. It was the first time that the esteemed guests of architects, designers, antiquarians and artists had ever experienced food cooked within silver so their curiosity was tweaked. Even Listri’s two gorgeous cats seemed inquisitive as they stood guard.
After the delicious starter of seasonal mangos and pomegranate seeds mixed with beautiful greens, the guests went on to the second course of the extremely tenderized braised veal cheek that had been marinated for eight hours and afterwards cooked to perfection in the Pesce Cookware with its subtle reduction gravy being prepared in the Piccolina Cookware. The accompaniment of winter vegetables of pureed potato, parsnips and carrots alla julienne retained their true flavours delicately cooked within the Vedura Cookware. Using the Tegamino Cookware, the mouth-watering chocolate torte finale drew sighs of content from the guests. All the dishes were brought to the table and Chef De Gennaro served each individual from the silver cookware, yet adding another dimension of luxury and appreciation for the Divine Dinner from all present.
With his eye for luxurious beauty, Listri gave a nod of approval as the silver cookware was brought out and his eyes twinkled a bit when there was mention of a possible other collection that would include jewels or one currently being cast in gold – beauty, the great seductress is alive and well within the Cookware Couture creations.