Updated: May 10, 2020
Dario is the most outspoken and opinionated butcher in the world. He's kind of famous; discussed, interviewed, filmed and has a great following. He constantly travels to the four corners of the world with his profession or shall we call it his art. And yes, he's just a butcher, in the little village of Panzano in Chianti.
Now, Dario Cecchini is not a mainstream kind of guy. He has taken the vow of being the butcher and never takes off the apron, so to say. "Whatever you do do it with love" very much reflects Dario Cecchini’s whole being. He's a thinker, witty and concise about who he is and what he does. And slowly he is succeeding in putting his handicraft back in focus.
The butcher profession has existed since early civilizations, but in modern days it has been taken over by large companies in many places, detaching us consumers from the origin in many ways. In Italy, until recently, you would have seen butcheries in pretty much every little village. But it is no different in Italy. Unfortunately, small shops of all sorts are slowly disappearing as the artisans retire. Young people no longer follow in their families' footsteps and prefer more opportunistic jobs. Small artisans are also struggling to stay in business due to the convenience of super-chains and online shopping. As the world is turning to more automated and inhumane practices to obtain cheaper meat, animals have become dehumanized from their very conception, speedy lives and their often premature end.
In the days of the outbreak of the mad cow disease, Dario was speaking out loud about giving animals a fair life, death, and usage. You can view the memorial stone to the Fiorentina Tbone steak that was banned from the Tuscans' table for 5 yrs at the beginning of the millennium.
Slowly and steady Dario has managed to restore a lost link. You can trust that he will select farms where animals get a good life. He will see that every aspect is taken care of to his own high standard. And nothing gets wasted at Dario's butchery as the most unthinkable parts are masterly cooked into delicious traditional Tuscan dishes.
Thanks to Dario's incessant work and great hospitality, an awakening foodie world is now aware that it takes a special artisan to select animals from ethical farms and to understand the meat in such a way that nothing gets wasted. It may cost a little more, but the quality is guaranteed.
In the wake of recent events, I think the ultimate message is to look deep into what it is we eat, where it comes from and who got it to our plates. This is something we could all take a deeper look into for the sake of humanity…e viva la ciccia!
Don't forget you can join us from Florence on our Super Chianti wine tour where we feast on Dario's specialties!