Filippo Romagnoli, is a master Florentine wood-carver, famous for his creations all around the world. Filippo’s corzetti stamps and rolling pins are handmade, a tradition begun by his grandfather in 1918. His products have received wide acclaim on the artisan website Etsy and have been praised by some of America’s top food newspapers as the Washington Post.

Our ambassador, Francine Segan had the chance to meet him: here is the full interview.

1) Nine words to introduce yourself
Florentine, woodcarver according to family tradition, Italian cuisine lover

2) What episode started your food passion?
I grew up in a family where everybody cooked a lot: the Sunday lunch, with its many dishes, has always made me curious.
There is nothing better than sharing a meal with family and friends, old and new.

3)  What is the recipe or Italian dish that represents you best?
Fresh, homemade pasta: easy to make, and everybody loves it.

4) What are the three essential “Made in Italy” products for your kitchen?
The Certaldo onion, because i’m from Florence and I cannot live without it; the Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the hills around my house; and of course, pasta!

5) Who is the chef in your house?
Everybody cooks, even the children, who love to make corzetti.

6) In your opinion, what is the biggest stereotype foreigners have on italian cuisine/italian food?
The idea that there is only “one” Italian cuisine: in Italy, in fact, there are many different culinary traditions, and every one of them is linked to the region, the city or the town where it was born. Some regional recipes are very well known, like carbonara or tiramisù, while other recipes are still to be discovered.
For example, as far as pasta is concerned, some traditional and regional recipes are unknown abroad: corzetti are slowly becoming famous, but other recipes, such as vincisgrassi from Marche region (a sort of “lasagna” made with roughly cut, non-minced meat) or the casunzei, from Ampezza (ricotta and beetroot ravioli), those recipes are still very new.

7) Speaking about the “Italian Sounding” phenomenon, what do you think are the solutions to oppose it?
To forbid to sell traditional Italian products, such as gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano and mortadella (these are among the most falsified products abroad), with the Italian name, if they are not produced in Italy.

8) Describe the Italian food in three words
Fusion, intercutural, creative

9) What is your role as a spokesperson for “100per100 italian” Made in Italy?
I decided to start producing the molds for the corzetti again when I realized that this tradition was disappearing. I think that the gastronomic tradition must be preserved, just like literature, because it is part of everyday culture.
My molds and rolling pins are only made of Italian wood, and the whole production, from design to carving, takes place entirely in my workshop in Tuscany. Wood carving is one of the art that contributed to the fame of Made in Italy worldwide.

Thanks to our Italian Food Ambassador Francine Segan for this amazing interview.