Owen and Valentina are perfectionists. They have a clear and unwavering picture in their minds of what they want their breads and cakes to look and taste like, what they want their coffees to look and taste like, what they want their cakes and pastries to look and taste like. And, each and every day, starting at unearthly hours, they set about realsing that ambition.
And here’s the thing about Il Valentino: the bakery's ideal of perfection is simplicity itself. The great achievement of the Valentino breads is their almost monastic purity, their relentless search for the essence of what a great loaf of bread is. For Italian cooks, innovation is a distraction: what counts is the curation, the ability to respect and continue the practice and the philosophy. It would be easy to miss the essence of Il Valentino, because the breads and cakes don’t scream at you. You need to be a connoisseur, in effect, to get this simplicity, and to be able to put it into context. And for Owen and Valentina, that context goes back to 25BC, when Rome already had hundreds of artisan bakeries.
So, take a bite of that Il Valentino bread, and you are tasting two millenia and more of the art and craft of bread. Perfection was never so simple.
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