Food. Life. Travel.

I like to describe myself as a teacher first, chef second. My career as cookery teacher, caterer and writer spans three long, eventful decades. One day, I will write a tell all memoir!  I will name names. My great love is to invite people to my rather chaotic kitchen table and plie them with simple food, litres of wine and regale them with tales – some true, some ‘embellished.’ But now, I’ve reached the point in my life when my family and friends have heard my stories, jokes and travel tips so many times that their eyes glaze over as soon as I open my mouth. My other obsession is to travel with groups of like minded people, so my stories and recipes originate from many destinations, from home and abroad.

April 6, 2020

While many of my Christian friends await the miracle that characterises this most solemn holiday, I am privileged to announce that a minor miracle has occurred in my suburban refuge here in Prospect.

Surely we have been visited and blessed by my favourite saint, San Lor...

March 30, 2020

As an alternative to baking (and, therefore, eating) lots of carbohydrates in this time of self isolation, I have decided to make alcoholic drinks. What could possibly go wrong? 

The first is a simple flavouring for wine. My father, Alberico, used to make it at the end...

December 17, 2019

Photo Credit: Banks' photo of the ultimate professionals at Florian, Venice.  

Recently I had the pleasure of working with two fine waiters from Bespoke Hospitality. They ran the floor and I schlepped in the kitchen.

Just before service, I checked the table setting...

November 25, 2019

Michelangelo Balistreri is a story teller. He owns the Anchovy Museum at Aspra - MUSEO DELL´ACCIUGA. It is just out of Bagheria, about half an hour from Cefalu`.

His stories weave a net between humankind, the sea and an ancient Sicily that he longs for.

We move room by r...

November 5, 2019

The almond tree was brought to Sicily by the Ancient Greeks who made marzipan with ground almonds and honey. When the Arabs introduced sugar cane to Sicily they started the great tradition of Sicilian marzipan fruits, biscuits, refreshing granita and liqueur made with...

August 9, 2019

Photo Credit: Arancini made at Nonna's Cucina class in June, 2019

Doing a spelling check on a recipe I was writing, I suddenly began to doubt myself and my knowledge of Sicilian cuisine. Was it arancino or arancina/ arancini or arancine?

It turns out that the answer to t...

August 4, 2019

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Last week, I accidentally binged on an Italian language series on Netflix.

Suburra: Blood on Rome is based on the novel Suburra by Carlo Bonini and Giancarlo de Cataldo, itself a seminal  exposé of Rome's criminal underbelly. Bonini is a journalis...

July 3, 2019

I accidentally started a major skirmish at dinner the other night.

Amongst a group of Sicilians, I casually asked what, in their expert opinion, constituted the best cannoli. There was a momentary silence, everyone caught their breath, straightened their spines. Then a...

June 15, 2019

The Monday five o’clock deadline looms large. I am in my study. The computer screen stays blank to mock me. I play with my pencil, sharpening it, soon there’ll be nothing left. I reread several false starts and the writer in me agrees with the reader - those story line...

May 5, 2019

I have a persimmon tree.

It gives me great joy throughout the year. In Spring it blushes with delicate flowers.  In summer it is lush and green with tinges of warm yellow and soft red.  In autumn – oh, the splendour of it – it is fire and light. In this “season of mists...

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