The moment I learned how to say “ciao,” I embarked on a lifelong love affair with Italy and its unforgettable foods and wines. I am not Italian by birth, but I am Italian at heart. Utterly passionate about Italy and all things Italian, I continue to explore every corner of this enchanting land and soak up the knowledge of generations of cooks and food lovers. I didn’t have an Italian grandmother of my own to cook with, but in my travels I have been adopted by many grandmothers and aunts who graciously taught me their secrets and showed me dishes that inspire love and passion.
Being an outsider has advantages: I can approach the foods and wines of Italy from a unique perspective and explain them to others along with the cultural context necessary for better understanding. Outsiders notice things natives take for granted.
As an outsider, I am enchanted by every new dish and every fresh ingredient; every variation of a recipe makes me want to know the reasons for it. I study the history and meaning of Italian foods so I can better explain them. I look beyond the familiar and find new things to be excited about around every corner.
In my explorations of the delicious, I have been drawn to lesser known regions—parts of Italy that have been overlooked in the past by cookbook writers, chefs, and travelers. I love the thrill of traveling to areas few have visited, villages that quietly and proudly carry on traditions few are aware of. I love telling the inspiring stories of these places and people, stories full of passion, dedication, and love of tradition.