Two or three things I wanted to say

Matching family and work, the evolution of a job. Loretta Fanella speaks off the cuff

Loretta Fanella, born in 1981 is a pastry-chef fro

Loretta Fanella, born in 1981 is a pastry-chef from Tuscany and a steady speaker during the first editions of Identità Golose. Today she divides herself between consultancy and family

Many people ask themselves what fate I had, what I’m doing, what I will do. Most people know I’ve become a mother and perhaps they believe I’ve stopped working because you can’t do a job like mine when you have a child. Like with any job, facing maternity is difficult for any woman, in part because a child drains a lot of energy and time, in part because our country isn’t very helpful with women who decide to make such an important choice.

It’s very demanding but you can have both things. I can say that this has luckily happened at a time in which I don’t have a stable job, so it’s easier for me to organise my work and my life in the best possible way without depending on anyone. I’ve managed to match these two things also thanks to the help of those who are beside me.

At the times of el Bulli with Albert and Ferran Adrià

At the times of el Bulli with Albert and Ferran Adrià

My choice arrives after 15 years of total dedication to my work and after having had the fortune of acquiring experience in some important establishments. I then left the restaurant in order to dedicate myself to others, through courses, consultancies, demonstrations, spending as much as one month side by side with the people I was assisting. At 31 the moment came to think about my private life too, to build a family and have a child with the person I would like to have by my side for ever. So today there’s Giulio, who’s now 16 months old.

As I don’t have set engagements, I can work in Milan one day and in Rome the next. Or spend a week in Abu Dhabi or Sidney and bring Italian cuisine abroad. The most beautiful thing is that, on top of giving, I also receive a lot: I find new stimuli, meet new cultures, customs and many different people. These are things that can hardly happen, if you always stay in a restaurant. People have said of me that I used to have a pastry-shop in Livorno but in fact it belonged to my husband (the shop was later sold): when I wasn’t away, I would give him a hand. For him I created a line of breakfast cakes, muffins, plum-cakes, biscuits, cream desserts and cakes.

I would love to open a place of my own but unfortunately, given the current situation in our country and after the experience my husband had with his shop, you work just to pay taxes and employees without ever having any support. I think about it and I understand I don’t want and cannot afford to take such a big weight on my shoulders. I’m not saying, nor would I ever say, that I will not go back to the restaurant life. Perhaps one day I’ll come across a good occasion, but for now my priorities have changed.

Today with her husband Paolo and son Giulio

Today with her husband Paolo and son Giulio

I know it’s easy to associate a chef with a restaurant, a pastry-chef with a pastry-shop. But it’s not true that if a chef doesn’t have a restaurant he’s not a good chef, or that a pastry-chef without a pastry-shop is not a good pastry-chef. Luckily, today things are changing: you can work even in other realities and more importance and value are given to our job which can give infinite satisfaction, just like it’s been for years in other countries.

It is surely easier and more logical to discover a pastry-chef through the dishes he’s created for the menu of a restaurant, or through the window of his pastry-shop, it’s easier to get hold of these works, but it’s equally important to train other colleagues, making others learn and discover innovation and professionalism. In other words, I haven’t got tired nor do I lack the desire to work. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. As a woman, however, today I feel the need to make other dreams come true, because there’s only one life and certain things need to be done at the right time. I certainly cannot do like those footballers who, once “old”, retire and think of something else.


Chefs' life stories

Men who, for a moment, leave pots and pans to tell us their experience and point of view