Franco Lodini is standing on a Chianti hillside in Autumnal mud and mist surrounded by dandelions.
Recent rainy weather has enabled the flowers to proliferate, their floret heads sprout up like a wash of yellow over the fields, which Franco will pick before dusk. Dandelion petals are sometimes part of ‘Franco’s Salad’, a dish named after him at the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura, which features diverse plants depending on the season. Franco makes regular visits to chef de cuisine Karime López’s kitchen with his wicker basket full of wild salads and flowers from the nearly 100 species he gathers year-round in Tuscany. His favorite spots to forage are secret ones an elderly gentleman showed him, nearby where he resides in the medieval town of San Donato in Poggio, south of Florence. He’s also authored a book, ‘Erbe selvatiche. Ricerca, riconoscimento e raccolta’ which describes his learnings about foraging, which is available in the Gucci Garden book store. Franco’s Salad is seen through the lens of photographer, art director and artist Max Siedentopf. @maxsiedentopf