THE DEHESA AS ORIGIN
Born of Franco-Spanish parents who were craftsmen and farmers, Florence Chatelet Sanchez was immersed in the culture of taste and the nobility of the craft. Committed by nature, she studied at Sciences Po Paris and began her career in political activism in France, in war reporting in the former Yugoslavia, then in ethical finance in Geneva.
Following a serious accident at the age of 30, she spent almost 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 during the 2010 crisis. These craftsmen reproduce the ancient gestures she knew as a child, preserving the soil and animal species, while producing healthy food. She then realised that today's local products are sold by marketing hype and have been tainted by years of industrialisation and the loss of traditional know-how.
THE HAUTE COUTURE WORKSHOPS
She decided to leave everything behind to save this small production of Pata Negra and to promote the artisanal know-how of 16 Spanish micro-producers, based on the principles of peasant agriculture and conservation. Their production methods, judged "too slow and costly" by bankers and "out of bounds" by European technocrats, are leading them straight to bankruptcy. In this context of crisis, Florence understands that the model for rescuing these crafts must be inspired by that of the French workshops of luxury brands.
She took up the challenge by financing the conversion of part of their production and achieved her primary objective: to save these small artisanal productions and their know-how. Today, they have become the haute-couture workshops of the great gastronomic houses. They produce "made-to-measure" local products for the great chefs.
Alongside its producers, the House of Dehesa has given a new lease of life to products such as eels, anchovies, sardines, bottarga, black garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, thanks to a convergence of ancestral techniques and know-how from all over the world.
In 2022, the House of DEHESA has more than 450 starred restaurants in Asia, Europe and Canada, in the very closed club of avant-garde chefs. These fermentation, maturing and curing products, based on an in-house technique of slow-maturation©, have inspired the greatest names on the international gastronomic scene to create dishes that have become indispensable today.