For Michelin trained Chef Alessandra Mariotti, experimentation and consciousness have always been the pillars of her creative work. Even though her journey started out in fashion, soon enough the simple pleasures of cooking became less of a hobby and more of a thoughtful new lifelong pursuit. As one of the faces of our new Resort 23 collection ‘SALT’ we sat down with Alessandra to discuss her influences, holistic approach to life and of course…Salt.
How did you start out as a chef?
Before I decided to become a chef, I was running my own fashion brand in London. Cooking during those years became my escape and eventually my medicine. Over time, I realised that my passion had shifted from clothes to food and so I decided to take the leap and start over from scratch. I moved back to my hometown of Florence, Italy and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu to train as a professional chef.
This was followed by an intense couple of years working my way up the ranks in fine dining kitchens in Italy and Mallorca, but soon I was suffering severe burnout. I decided that it was time to go back to the source of my culinary passion, learning how to heal myself and others with food.
Talk us through your approach to holistic living and what that means in your practice?
My approach to holistic living begins by simply bringing more consciousness to my choices, celebrating the seasons and honouring my body and the natural world. In my experience good health isn’t accomplished with pills and treatments but it’s a result of balanced living and bringing intention and reflection into our lives.
Talk us through a typical day...
I like to begin my days quite slowly, with music, incense and coffee. I have learnt that the afternoon and evening is my most productive time, so I allow myself to flow for the first few hours of the morning. It’s my favourite time for self-care, housekeeping, and the odd catchup over breakfast with friends.
The afternoons are when I tend to have the ability to concentrate and can get stuck into my work, which through autumn and winter is centred around recipe development and nutritional consulting then on-site catering throughout the rest of the year.
Whenever I can I like to finish my day by heading to the sea. This is one of our favourite ways to socialise here in Mallorca, all gathered on a rock basking in the sun. It beats the pub!
Our Resort 23 campaign explores the power of SALT in its many forms, from its simplest form as a giver of life, to its ability to cleanse. How does salt play a role in your life?
I LOVE salt! I often fantasize about going to Japan just to try the hundreds of different types of salt they have there, from seaweed salt to miso. I love how many functions salt has, from preserving foods to activating the cooking process.
It can enable the caramelisation or the formation of a crust in the oven, trap moisture and intensify flavour when used to salt bake or be used to soften and extract water when sautéing. What is marvellous is how just the tiniest sprinkle of salt can bring a dish to life! You can see why it was once so precious that even wars were fought over it!
Do you have a morning ritual that helps you start your day?
I am a huge advocate of morning lemon water. It is the one practice I try to never compromise on, so I have begun to prep my fresh lemon juice by freezing it into ice cubes so that I never go without.
How do your surroundings influence your style?
More than my surroundings, it the temperature that influences my style. Summer really brings out my feminine side and inspires me to be more creative, while when it is colder I just want to be as comfortable as possible, going for more functional and more masculine clothing. This said, I spent an entire week dressed very much like Frida Kahlo when I recently travelled to Oaxaca in Mexico. The city had a huge effect on me!
Do you have a favourite ingredient?
What is so special about preserved lemons?
Preserving lemons, just like with tomatoes, means that you can take a lemon at the height of its season and safeguard it’s flavour for whenever you need it. Lemons preserved in salt develop the most unbelievable nuances in flavour, something between salted caramel and
the purest citrus bomb. It’s magic! I also make a paste out of the flesh and use it as a secret ingredient in many of my dishes.
What is on your Lucy Folk wishlist?
9 SMALL UNWAXED LEMONS
LOTS OF SEA SALT
2 TBSP PEPPERCORNS
6 BAY LEAF + ROSEMARY SPRIGS
1 MASON JAR (WITH CLAMP LID)
Wash your lemons thoroughly.
Cut ½ an inch off the lemon bottoms (where the stem originally was) so that they can stand upright.
Position the knife over the top of the lemon and slice ¾ of the way down, then swivel the lemon 90 degrees and cut again creating a “cross- like” opening, hold the lemon open and sprinkle about 1 tbsp of sea salt into each lemon.
Stuff each lemon into your jar, pressing down so as many can fit as possible. Don’t worry if they lose their shape. Every so often, add a few Rosemary sprigs and a sprinkle of peppercorns for flavour.
Squash the lemons down with your fist there so that the jar fills with liquid and there are no air pockets. This is best done over a large bowl for minimal mess.
Finish off with some extra lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt on top making sure there is liquid up to the brim. You don’t want to leave any lemons in contact with air as they can go mouldy.
Seal the jar and leave to ferment in a cool dark place for 3 – 4 weeks.
Flip the jars occasionally to distribute the juices evenly.
Later when your lemons have fermented, you can separate the pulp from the skin and chop or blend into a paste that you can use to flavour anything from salad dressings to risottos.
For the zest, separate any remaining pulp from the skin and slice the yellow zest into thin
strips. These can be preserved in olive oil and used as a tasty garnish. They are wonderful in cocktails!
Use the table below to find your ring size. The most accurate sizing is determined by measuring the inner diameter of your ring in millimetres (mm) using a ruler.
Lucy Folk offers a unique customisation service on selected items. To discover more or schedule a bespoke consultation contact us.
Sizing varies between our items, so we recommend using the graph below to determine your ideal size and comparing these measurements to similar item that you already own. Additional style and fit details are included in the product page ”Size & Fit” tab.
All measurements below are taken of the item lying flat.