RIBOLLITA, DA MARIO
This hearty winter soup is one of the oldest Florentine recipes. The name Ribollita means "twice cooked" because it should be prepared a day in advance and then boiled again before serving. The ingredients are similar to vegetable minestrone but with the addition of toasted leftover Tuscan bread, cannellini beans and Tuscan cabbage. Da Mario serves the most authentic Ribollita.
LAMPREDOTTO, MERCATO SANTA BROGIO
Florence's most famous street food consists of boiled ox abomasum (one of the four cow's stomachs) with herbs and vegetables, served hot and finely sliced inside a crispy bun called "rosetta". Salsa verde and chilli are the condiments. You can enjoy this with a glass of chianti for just €5 as a meal. Pollini Kiosk near Sant'Ambrogio Market run by a father and son, is definitely my favourite one. The atmosphere is magical – you can find young construction workers on lunch breaks or noble ladies reminiscing on the good old days and listening to town gossip.
BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA
Our T-bone steak comes from the Chianina cow, an ancient Tuscan beef breed and one of the world's largest in terms of size. There's a saying in Florence about T-bones: "if it's not three-finger thick, it's a carpaccio." Served rare or medium-rare only. One of the best Fiorentina can be found at Antica Osteria Nandone in the Mugello area.
PANZANELLA, CANTINETTA ANTINORI
It is a refreshing summer salad made with fresh ripe tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, basil, left over bread and red wine vinegar. My mum, same as all her friends, makes this during the hot summer days to be consumed on the beachside. It's so simple, versatile and can be enjoyed as a starter or side dish. Cantinetta Antinori offers the best one.
TORTELLI DI PATATE ALLA MUGELLANA, VALERI
Tortelli are a kind of ravioli. They can be round or square shaped and filled with fluffy potato mixed with a touch of tomato sauce, anchovies and garlic. They are traditionally served with duck or wild boar ragu in winter or Prugnoli mushrooms in summer. There's a lot of competition between restaurants to make the best tortelli in town, and one of my favourites is Valeri in Luco di Mugello.
RISOTTO AL PICCIONE, FRESCOBALDI
Not every restaurant is able to offer this risotto on the menu because it is a very difficult recipe to execute: kitchen techniques, butchery and good cooking skills are required. The squab first needs to be deboned, some parts are roasted and used for stock, other cuts like breasts are diced and added raw in to the rice during the cooking time. You find it at Frescobaldi Restaurant & Wine Bar.
CIBREO, IL CIBREO
Chicken offal is definitely not for everyone, but cibreo is tasty and full of tradition. We braise a few offal of the bird such as liver, crest, gizzard and heart, as in Florence we don't like waste any part of the animal. When all these cuts are cooked, a sprinkle of lemon juice and egg yolk are needed to finalise the sauce. The flavours Il Cibreo serves pays homage to our heritage.
Italian-born Sydneysider Francesco Mannelli has more than 20 years' experience in kitchens of top restaurants and hotels in Italy and Australia. For the past decade he has worked in hatted Sydney restaurants including Est, Bistrode CBD and Osteria Balla. He's now head chef at the new CBD Mode Kitchen & Bar at Sydney's Four Seasons. See modekitchenandbar.com.au