Cecchini was born in 1955 in the Tuscan village of Panzano where his father was the butcher, the eighth generation of Cecchini butchers. He studied veterinary science at the university in Pisa but in 1976, three years into his six-year course, had to take over the family business from his dying father. Described as "... a personality, a celebrity, and a butcher extraordinaire. A theatrical host, a show-stopper, and an artist",
In March 2014 Cecchini was featured in BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme, which included a recording of him presenting at the MAD Symposium in August 2013 in Copenhagen, to 500 chefs from around the world. As if the 20 minutes Cecchini spent describing his life’s work and his love for his wife weren’t poetic enough, he closed by reciting a lengthy passage from Dante Alighieri, by heart.
Cecchini, on a mission to protect and promote the traditional local butcher from the rise of the powerful supermarkets, explained that he believed butchery was an ancient art that involved a respect for the animal, seeing his role as that of teacher and educator. According to Cecchini, there were no "premium" and "lower" cuts of meat, but rather all the parts of the animal were useful if butchered and cooked in an appropriate way. Cecchini argues that his work could amount to poetry, a combination of knowledge (understanding that you can use every part of the animal) and consciousness (respect for the animal) that can bring people back to the “original customs of the tribe,“ in a world where everything seems to be getting more and more commodified, processed and impersonal.
In 2019, Dario Cecchini was featured in Netflix' documentary series Chef's Table.
- Dario Cecchini presentation at the MAD3: "Carne e Spirito" in August 2013. Cecchini guts a pig and discusses the importance of craft, of love and of respecting the animals we consume.
- Anand Giridharadas (October 5, 2012). "Embracing an Unchosen Path in Italy". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Dario Cecchini – The Dante-reciting, Rock-star Butcher of Italy | Crunchy Bottoms". Crunchybottoms.wordpress.com. 2012-09-08. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- "MAD | Dario Cecchini". Madfood.co. 2013-08-25. Archived from the original on 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Food Programme, A Renaissance for Butchers?". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-03-03.