Meet the Brooklyn Chef Bringing Her Etruscan Floral Style Back to Tuscany

Jun 13, 2019 183

BY: Zoe Dubno

Chefs, much like artists or designers, approach their work with a very particular intention. Some enjoy nourishing people. Others take pride in the complexity of their dishes, or in their meticulous technique. But Elisa Da Prato, a chef who lives in the Tuscan town of Barga, Italy, has a culinary philosophy entirely her own. “My mission,” she says, “is to deliver flowers into your body.”

Da Prato, whose surname fittingly means “of the meadow” in Italian, accomplishes this with the botanical culinary style she’s been perfecting for more than a decade. She’ll bake lavender and marigolds into focaccia, stuff nasturtium buds with crème fraîche and bee pollen, or dress fresh pasta with rose petals, bottarga, and the wild Italian mint nepitella. Inspired by an ancient Roman recipe, she also serves fried rosebuds, a favorite of 2nd century Roman emperor Elagabalus. 

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