The cuisine at Al Ponte restaurant in Gaiole in Chianti expresses an irresistible koinè of Tuscan tradition with exoticism from the Near East. All this thanks to the lucid ambition of Admir and Alma Selimanovic –  who also contribute to the management of mother and chef Fata’s Il Celliere in Castagnoli. Their secret? A very promising chef from Adana in Turkey, Can Beydogan – formerly of the kitchen team at the Spaltenna castle – with his rigorous attitude in the kitchen and his ability to bring out the best in his great recipes. 


First the Istanbul cooking school, then studies at the prestigious Riaci Academy in Florence; Chef Beydogan expresses a mixture of authority, enthusiasm and humility and especially great rigour and professionalism, both from the experience gained at the Bosphorus with its five international stars and for his recent work at the famous starred restaurant mentioned above. 

A character perfectly manifested in his dishes: forget whatever you know regarding the interpretation of Tuscan cuisine. We are in a fantastic other world. Completely different.

Maniacal attention to the aesthetics of plating up and an obsessive search for qualitatively superior local ingredients and raw materials. “I brought a lot of things from home, he tells me, I interpret our beloved Tuscan cuisine without wanting to distort it.” Let’s see how.

First of all with particular cuts of meat such as beef ribs – marinated with Turkish herbs and spices, cooked under vacuum for up to twenty hours at low temperature. A process that enhances flavour, maintains the juices and gives an unusual softness. He also does a menu based on porcini, with a revolutionary ‘Chianti Tuna’ which you don’t even need a knife to eat – it plays with the different consistencies in a dance between mushroom cream and a slightly harder and more crunchy porcino than usual .

The homemade pasta dishes are all very good with porcini mushrooms, dried lavender and courgettes from the garden – in various types of pasta including gnocchi (very important! A ‘serious’ smile from Beydogan), ravioli, pappardelle and macaroni. The vegetable garden, cultivated around the restaurant, is kept like a jewel. 

We must mention his elegant bruschetta with saffron sauce with porcini in a dual consistency combination with marinated egg and balanced salt. A ‘starry’ gourmet dish, beautiful to the eye.

Tradition, passion and elegance. These are the pillars of Admir’s management. All the dishes are reminiscent of Tuscan cuisine, but with a different spark: from old-fashioned ragù with wild boar and venison, to homemade pasta. A curiosity? Here everyone seems to be madly in love with the food and drink offered!

It is important to emphasize the techniques and equipment Chef Beydogan uses including ultra-technologies like the Roner, a container that allows very long cooking at low temperatures and the dryer for aromatic dough and powders used to enhance flavours.

Lastly, the strong point of the restaurant, that is the ‘Dry Aged’ grilled meat, prepared with a seasoning process of up to nine months at controlled temperature and a humidity of not less than 88%. It is an unforgettable experience: meat raised on natural pasture and corn where the surface fat percolates into the fibers of the meat – the greater the marbling, the more exquisite the meat.


Info: Osteria Al Ponte, Via Antonio Casabianca 25, Gaiole in Chianti (Si)/ Tel. 0577 744085/ open for lunch and dinner