Tradition in Evolution – art and science in pastry making

copertina libro

All the basics of pastry making. This is the title of the interview with Leonardo Di Carlo about his book…


More than a manual, more than a recipe book: “Tradizione in Evoluzione – Arte e Scienza in Pasticceria” (Tradition in Evolution – art and science in pastry making) is the evolution of what in publishing is called a best and long seller, that is the “Manuale della Pasticceria Italiana” (Italian Pastry Maker’s Manual) by Chiriotti Editori. A true encyclopedia of more than 800 pages, written in Italian with intense passion and a profound professionalism by Leonardo Di Carlo

After three years of “gestation” we are proud to present “Tradizione in Evoluzione – Arte e Scienza in Pasticceria” (Tradition in Evolution – art and science in pastry making). More than a manual, much more than a recipe book, a real instrument for the workshop to read, read again, consult, underline, comment… Over 800 pages and more of recipes divided into pastry making types, covering all the topics that make handmade pastry making great. A manual, which is exhaustive in every detail in order to make it usable and useful for all. Scientific and technical explanations, in depth practical advice, recipes, variations, merits, defects, schematized processes, notes and tricks all experienced “firsthand” by the author, Leonardo Di Carlo, who wanted to transfer all this experience onto every page, all his studies and experiments. Leo is in fact a professional who is never satisfied with what he already knows, but continues to measure himself against his colleagues on an Italian and international level, including experts in relative fields (from chemistry to biology…), researching books and doing research in the workshop, always searching to satisfy himself and others, first of all the true handmade pastry making being close to his heart, fruit of tradition and evolution, as expressed in the chosen title. A creative approach to a scientific and rigorous pastry making.
This professional volume is therefore the result of a complex and reasoned work, because the wish of the author and the editor is that of offering an instrument – we repeat the term because we consider it the best to describe this new book – which every professional, every enthusiast, anyone can personalize, make it their own depending on their needs, tastes, customer requests… All the basics necessary to build a personal path, at the same time emotional and rational, able to increase the knowledge of what one does and how one does it.
Today this editorial project is a manual in the true sense of the word, with photos and recipes. A single volume which collects together the notions, in order to simplify the consultation. For more than 30 years, action after action, we have always acted not only for financial ends, but mainly for the good of the sector, and the craftsmen. Not instrumental choices, but ones mediated by the desire to spread culture, to help the sector grow by stimulating, helping and sustaining it.
There is a lot more that can be said about this manual, but there is no need to slip into self congratulations. We invite you to read it, to reason it, to use it, to consume it, to turn down the pages, to underline in it, to stain it in the workshop…
You can find information about the book and its contents, about the backstage, and also videos and updates about appointments with the author on, the website where the book “comes to life” and evolves over time.

Why such a detailed and complete book?
Because it is what I have always dreamt to find on the shelves of the libraries over the world.
What does it mean writing a professional manual?
A tremendous effort, but a great satisfaction. All that you give away, will come back to you!Why should we buy it?
Because “I” really wrote it with the intent to simplify and make the most complex notions immediately understandable.
How much time have you dedicated to it?
To tell the truth, I made the first draft in 2006, then, reasoning and maturing, more than three years.
Where did you start from?
Custard, and it was hard. I saw an immense thing to do and it seemed unreachable.
The most exciting moments of this “gestation”?
The first time I saw the draft of a laid out chapter. It is so different seeing it in print instead of on file. I was really excited and satisfied.
The recipe you are most attached to?
The Sacher: just last month I created the 48th version and it makes me happy to make colleagues realize that everything is possible when you have the basics and the knowledge.
The confectionary range that you prefer?
All of them, because each time I make a discovery and find new ideas. For example for Carnival I prepared very particular fritters and for me this was a great satisfaction, which encourages me, because it this that people want and I have the possibility to always create a challenge for myself.
What would you like a young person to learn from this book?
That what I was missing at the beginning, that is, serious basics and the “why” the ingredients, once assembled, behave in a certain way.
Why did you decide to become a pastry chef?
Partly it was decided by my destiny and partly by my artistic streak, the scholastic path of my education and my inclination to communicate.
What does it mean to be an artisan today?
To aim at quality and uniqueness, because the competition from large industries is very strong. And to also become businessmen to all intents and purposes in order to survive our economic system.
How important is and how much of theoretical culture is in the workshop?
A lot, we have limited ourselves to only copying others recipes. And young people are beginning to understand this, and are committing themselves to becoming the masters of their own creations.
What is your perfect shop like?
First, it has a shop window that entices the customers to enter, then, who is behind the counter must be educated and motivated to sell a “small dream”.
And the perfect workshop?
Logistics and organisation of the work at the highest levels.
Three pieces of advice on how to face this slump.
It will seem banal, but invest in the quality (with a price war, you can close down), keep yourself up to date and see new opportunities every morning.
Your three most obvious qualities.
Passion, warmth, simplicity.
Your most obvious three defects.
Touchy, “prima donna”, fussy.
Your favourite sweet.
A well cooked millefeuille with very little cream, so tasty, so much for diets!
Your secret dream.
I am not saying, otherwise it brings bad luck!
What would you like to do when you grow up?
… There’s still time to grow up!

For more info, photos and recipes, visit

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