ORIGINS IN THE DEHESA
Born into a Franco-Spanish family of craftsmen and farmers, Florence Chatelet Sanchez was immediately immersed in a culture of taste and artisanal integrity. Ambitious and committed, she studied at Sciences Po in Paris before making steps into political activism in France, in major war reporting in former Yugoslavia, then in ethical finance in Geneva.
Following a serious accident at the age of 30, she spent nearly a year of rehabilitation in the Dehesa of her childhood with her Andalusian mother. There she met a family of Pata Negra producers on the verge of bankruptcy due to the 2010 crisis.
These craftsmen reproduced the old ways she had known in her childhood, preserving the soil and animal species, while producing healthy food. She quickly realised that local products were being sold using ambitious marketing ploys and were tarnished by years of unbridled industrialisation, endangering ancestral know-how and practices.
HAUTE COUTURE WORKSHOPS
It didn’t take long for her to drop everything and try to save this small Pata Negra farm and promote the craftsmanship of 12 Spanish micro-producers, based on the principles of peasant agriculture and conservation. Their production methods, deemed "too slow and costly" by bankers and "outside the scope" by European technocrats, was leading them straight to bankruptcy. Within this period of crisis, Florence understood that the rescue model for these crafts should take inspiration from the French workshops of luxury brands.
She took up the challenge by financing the conversion of part of their production and quickly achieved the main objective: saving these small artisanal productions and their know-how. Today, they have become the haute couture workshops of the great gastronomic institutions. They produce "tailor-made" local products for renowned chefs around the world.
TAYLOR MADE PRODUCTS
Alongside its producers, Maison Dehesa gives a newfound nobility to products such as eel, anchovies, sardines, bottarga, black garlic, olive oil or even balsamic vinegar thanks to a convergence of ancestral techniques and know-how from all over the world.
As of 2022, Maison DEHESA works with more than 450 starred restaurants in Asia, Europe and Canada, within the highly exclusive club of avant-garde chefs. These fermented, matured and salted products made using in-house slow-maturation techniques have inspired the biggest names on the international gastronomic scene in creating new iconic dishes.