In 2006 Susan McKenna Grant introduced us to the now fabled La Petraia in the Chianti Mountains of Tuscany with her multiple award-winning book, Piano, Piano, Pieno; Authentic Food From a Tuscan Farm. In Dinamica she gives us an updated glimpse into the miracle that is La Petraia and the agricultural and culinary adventure continuing to unfold on this ancient property, first inhabited by the Etruscans 2,700 years ago.
It’s been more than a decade since Susan and her husband Michael, whose design, photography and essays grace these pages, first set eyes on this primordial ‘pile of rocks’. The vineyards, orchards and gardens they planted are now flourishing and providing the restaurant kitchen with a dizzying variety of ingredients.
The Grants have ventured beyond organic and even beyond biodynamic to an approach to farming that pays respect to the ultimate interconnectedness of all living things within the complex system that is Petraia.
The heart of the system is Susan’s kitchen. Beginning from Tuscan roots she has pushed past modern to a cutting edge ‘systemic’ culinary style that could only be born in the midst of this laboratory of agricultural experimentation. Possessed with capturing flavour’s perfect moment, she conjures playful, elegant and colourful plates that showcase the complexity of Petraia’s abundance. In the end, though, Susan insists it is La Petraia that is both teacher and central character of the book. The recipes and stories, she writes, belong to her.
These pages will gently whisk you away on a journey in which you will uncover a universe of touching personal portraits, evocative photographs, enticing recipes, and perhaps even an encounter or two with the divine. If you’re serious about food, pack your bags.