Delfina Delettrez'

Raven Smith
Luke Edward Hall
Elisa Sednaoui-Dellal
Serafina Sama
Margherita Maccapani Missoni

“I always keep my rings on when I cook,” says Italian jewellery designer Delfina Delettrez, diving into a messy mound of flour and eggs. “I think it adds a preciousness that you can taste.” A fourth-generation member of the Fendi dynasty, Delettrez is best known for her eponymous brand which she launched to instant acclaim in 2007, but it’s in her Roman kitchen where you’ll most often find her blowing off steam. Her culinary style, like her jewelry, is playful. Today, for example, she’s baking a sweet pastry case filled with custard called Torta Della Nonna, or Grandma’s Cake. At its center lies one of her pearl rings, a lucky treat—or potential dental hazard—for unsuspecting guests. “Whoever gets the right slice, gets the prize,” teases Delettrez with a smile.

And therein lies her greatest quality: Delettrez makes the ordinary feel extraordinary with the simplest of (decadent) tweaks. It’s this exact mentality and an ethos of whimsy, fun, and attention-to-detail that’s garnered her brand legions of fans over the years, too. A love letter to surrealism in metal and gems, her designs draw from a library of Dali-esque iconography and her family’s extensive expertise in the creative and luxury fields. There’s also been a slew of singularly unique collaborations: She’s designed jewellery for Kenzo, Fendi, and New York’s Gagosian Gallery, in addition to pairing up with Luca Guadagnino to make the jewels for his movie “I am Love,” with Tilda Swinton in 2009. In more recent news, she’s been expanding into retail. This past September, Delettrez opened a sparkly new flagship on Via di Monserrato near her home in Rome, which she shares with her husband, Nico Vascellari, and their three children.

You’ll have to watch this week’s video to learn how Delettrez’s semi-precious kitchen drama unfolds in real-time, but before you do read on and discover her very special edition of Semaine. You’ll even find her cake recipe, if you want to join along at home. If you have an original piece of her jewelry to hide within it, so much the better.

Semaine: What role does food play in your life?

Delfina: Food is a fun way of experimenting with different materials. Even if every time I cook it ends in laughter and calling in a delivery pizza for everyone, I still enjoy it. But I am a slow, messy cook, and I care more aesthetics than taste. So things can look incredible...and taste not so great.

Semaine: What is your first food memory?

Delfina: My mom giving me milk while wearing a spectacular ruby and diamond ring. I always thought that the stone infused the milk with a precious serum that influenced my future as a jeweler.

Semaine: What is your family’s signature dish?

Delfina: My mom’s signature dish when we were children was lamb chops cooked in Coca Cola—a delicious invention that makes every child happy!

Semaine: In this week’s film you share your recipe for Torta della Nonna. What is your real-life Nonna like?

Delfina: My grandmother didn’t teach me to cook—she isn’t that kind of grandmother. But she taught me the art of hospitality, how to set up a great table, and how to put creative and personal touches in everything that I do.

Semaine: What piece of jewelry would you love to find inside a cake?

Delfina: A diamond ring. I’ve always wanted to crack diamonds with my teeth.

Semaine: What’s your definition of a perfect day?

Delfina: Any day spent with family on our farm in Italy. We walk in the forest, collect honey from the beehives, and pick vegetables from our garden before all cooking together in our marble kitchen. This is happiness!

Semaine: Your career as a jeweler has spanned over a decade. What have been some of the highs? And some of the lows?

Delfina: Only highs! One of the greatest moments was when the Louvre's Musée des Arts Décoratifs acquired two of my pieces for their permanent jewelry collection in 2012, making me the youngest designer to be showcased at the venerated museum.

Semaine: What’s it like being a Fendi?

Delfina: It means being part of an incredible compilation of unique women who have helped define the woman that I am today—personally and professionally. Being in my family was like going to school from day one, but without fear and without performance anxiety. In front of me I had these great teachers who immediately taught me everything I needed. I remember having animated conversations since I was a child. No matter what age I was, I knew it was important to have a point of view. It’s an attitude that has pushed the accelerator of creativity in all of us.

Semaine: It’s your last meal. What’s on the table?

Delfina: A huge plate of spaghetti pomodoro e basilico—my favorite. I’ll be sharing it with my three kids and listening to Notturni di Chopin, which was the music I made them listen to when they were born.

Semaine: What do you hope to cook in the studio—and in the kitchen—in 2020?

Delfina: Lab grown meat. I hope this technology soon becomes more accessible and easy to find for everyone.

Now there’s nothing left to do but cook. Gather your ingredients, set your timers, and—Buon Appetito!

By Elsa de Berker for Semaine.

Read more...

SHOP PROFILE

View more products

Essentials

Essentials

Delfina's Essentials

Essentials. Everybody needs them. Plus points if you can fit all of the following in a Fendi 'Baguette' or 'Peekaboo.'

SHOP ESSENTIALS

View more products

Playlist

Playlist

Delfina's Playlist

If you're throwing a party even remotely soon, consider charging Delfina with the playlist.

SHOP PLAYLIST

Travel

Travel

Delfina's Rome

No one loves Rome more than Delettrez. Find her drinking in culture and scooping up gelato at the following addresses in the ancient Italian city.

SHOP TRAVEL

Get the Look

Get the Look

Get the Look

Delfina serves looks like she serves her desserts—classic, hot, and with an unexpected twist.

78e0014e d44d 46a9 959d 4e8b7db184b6
08884cc0 1249 420d b3c8 53e1ae0c6ad4

SHOP GET THE LOOK

A6c9addf 060f 4ee7 a6eb fe83642a9680

SHOP GET THE LOOK

4e8bc2c7 cdd0 4a53 86d1 23d47bd2100d
1fcf0e0f 1d2e 48fd 8325 360d0f29f0cc

SHOP GET THE LOOK

Cd714a33 15a5 4f2b b1bb 97db3deb4360

SHOP GET THE LOOK

4de07fe8 8d0a 4f16 887c d1b674cfef4f
D724ff15 5865 4ca2 9bed e90db6033547

SHOP GET THE LOOK

Recipe

Recipe

La Torta della Nonna

Tonight, how about Delfina's recipe for Torta Della Nonna? You need not make it with a pearl ring. You can swap in diamonds, if you like.

La Torta Della Nonna

Ingredients

For pasta frolla

  • 3 eggs
  • 200g butter
  • 450g flour 00 type
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 160g white sugar

For crema pasticciera

  • 750ml milk
  • 225g sugar
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 3 eggs
  • 30g flour 00 type
  • A pearl ring

For decoration

  • Pine nuts 30g
  • Icing sugar

Method

01

Preheat the oven at 160° C.

02

Mix the sugar and flour. In the centre of the mixture, create a volcano and crack two eggs in it. Add butter, sugar and one lemon peel to the mixture.

03

Knead until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, then cover it and place it in the fridge for 30min.

04

In a small pan, heat up the milk and one lemon peel until the mixture almost reaches boiling point.

05

Crack three eggs in a different pan and add sugar, whisk until the sugar is absorbed. Then add the flour.

06

Add some of the hot milk to the eggs and whisk until the mixture becomes creamy.

07

Add the creamy egg mixture to the milk pan and stir on low heat for 10-15min.

08

Take the dough out of the fridge and stretch it out to create a round shape (about 2/3 mm deep).

09

Butter the tin and place the dough in it. Then pour the cream and cover the full surface of the cake with pine nuts.

10

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes.

11

When it is finished, let it cool off and add the icing sugar on top. Buon apetito!

SHOP RECIPE

View more products

Film Picks

Film Picks

Film Picks

Reel in the mind with Delfina's must-watch movie list. You'll find plenty of Italian classics, plus a few wild cards to keep you on the edge of your seat.

SHOP FILM PICKS

A presto!

77e5dcf2 ca6f 4780 9a59 deb713fe7ac3