an Italian reading list

Sometimes I think about my final year history teacher, and how nice it would be to bump into him in a random piazza somewhere in Italy. Russel Staiff was one of those stand out teachers who take their students far beyond the standard textbook. We started our final year of European history with a screening of Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet followed by a Mediterranean feast, … Continue reading an Italian reading list

rustic Italian baking – focaccia

Roughly three years ago Rachel Roddy, Carla Tomasi and I sat in Carla’s kitchen with mugs of tea, looking out onto Carla’s blooming kitchen garden and chatting about how Market to Table would become our chance to cook together with curious travelers from around the globe.  Market to Table has become a glorious celebration of the Roman seasons, of recipes we love and a true … Continue reading rustic Italian baking – focaccia

crostata, crostata

There is often a huddle of people waiting outside the nondescript bakery on a corner of the Jewish ghetto, the one so small there is only room for 3.5 customers at a time, the rest obliged to wait outside gazing into the windows filled with biscotti and crostate and whatever festive specialty there happens to be at that point in the Jewish calendar. The cherry and ricotta … Continue reading crostata, crostata

a rome list for hunters and gatherers

I’ve been asked quite often recently about whether a Roman version of a charity shop actually exists.  The answer is no, kind of, in a way, yes. Charity shops are my idea of the perfect equation.  Old things are handed on, making room in cupboards for new ones.  The thrifty, like me, get to rummage about, finding that perfect French label in an Oxfam shop … Continue reading a rome list for hunters and gatherers

Itineraries. Ceramics and the South; a pilgrimage to Grottaglie

The sun climbs as we leave the soft olive hillsides of the Valle D’Itria, where we are staying, for the red plains of the alto-Salento, and the road cuts through carpets of primitivo vines as it reaches out toward the almost irresistible waters of the Ionian sea. We are on a family holiday, but today we are on our way to a place I have been longing … Continue reading Itineraries. Ceramics and the South; a pilgrimage to Grottaglie

itineraries. around the vinyards of alto -Lazio

The Greeks that settled in southern Italy during the period between the 8th and the 6th century BC called the fertile land with its happy climate Oenotria; land of the trained vines.  They most probably brought with them cuttings to plant, among them Aglianico and Greco or Grechetto, varieties that are still found in central and southern Italy.   The Etruscans also cultivated wine in central Italy, … Continue reading itineraries. around the vinyards of alto -Lazio

Orchard to Table Spring & Autumn 2017

This year I’m pleased to announce the dates for both a spring and autumn edition of my special three day orchard to table cooking experience in Lubriano and the area surrounding it. 5 to 7 June, to co-incide with the Infiorata on 6 June 11 to 13 September, to co-incide with the San Procolo festival 10 Sep  What we gather, see, cook and prepare will … Continue reading Orchard to Table Spring & Autumn 2017

itineraries. treasure hunting in the Tuscia

La Tuscia is the ancient land of the Etruscans that stretches between southern Tuscany, northern Lazio and Umbria; a volcanic landscape of rolling hillsides, vines, olives and towns crumbling from their cliff-top perches.  The Etruscans were the sophisticated people who proceeded and were subsequently engulfed by the early Roman republics. They cultivated grapes and built towns – Tarquinia, Tuscania and Vetulonia are particular examples – and filled … Continue reading itineraries. treasure hunting in the Tuscia

Pecorino, cured pork and Solidarity

In Italy fair trade products; most often coffee, sugars and chocolate, are marked by the words Equo e Solidale.  Equo meaning equal and fair, with solidale translating as solidarity; together with, in union.  Solidarity is a word that gets used a lot in these trying times, and I think (many) Europeans seem to have an inbuilt understanding of the idea, one that has run through their … Continue reading Pecorino, cured pork and Solidarity

low tech Italian classics to stuff into your suitcase

Made in Italy is renowned for shoes and bags, fast cars, alta moda and serious furniture design.  Hiding behind the big names and famous brands are the artisans; leatherworkers, furniture designers, glassblowers, mosaicists, shoemakers; craftsmen and women of so many kinds, and in between the famous brands and the artigiani are the medium size businesses that are the backbone of Italy the industrial nation.  Because as the traveller so easily … Continue reading low tech Italian classics to stuff into your suitcase