I’ve always been inspired by other cultures and I find the best way to connect with others is over a meal. In my twenties I spent a lot of time traveling and backpacking around Europe and the people I met along the way played a big part in shaping who I am in the kitchen today. Some of my fondest memories include:
Meeting Georgio, the sweetest 5 ft tall old Italian man that I met at a bus station in Positano, Italy. Within fifteen minutes of meeting each other, he carried my 60 lb suitcase on his shoulders down the many stairs for me and then cooked his “famous” linguine con vongole. The rest of the summer I learned many other southern Italian dishes from him, many of which inspire me in the kitchen today.
Summer job at a winery – I pretended to speak French in a job interview to work at an old family winery in France for the summer. I know this was bad, but I desperately needed a job and I did learn (kinda) how to speak about wine soon after I got there. The wine was super fun, and France was super fun, but I found myself in the kitchen more than the tasting room learning how to make everything from jam with Mami to oldschool, traditional French comfort food classics. This was the first time I cooked for more than fifteen people at a time and let me tell you, it was a rush! I was immediately addicted to the feeling of gathering with as many people as possible and sharing the love of food.
One thing I hope you get from my recipes is that they shouldn’t be taken too seriously. A lot of magic can happen in the kitchen when you take risks and just have fun with it.
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