By now it’s something of a ritual, the glass jar containing the slurry of water and green tea leaves brewing in the sun of the school’s garden. It takes another day to actually chill that much volume, my tiny Italian refrigerator’s motor revving through the night. Come early July each year, I spend a day …
Next October I’ll be up Etna, picking grapes. I get goose bumps every time I go to Sicily, just like you probably do when you come to Italy. 11 months after that I’ll be back in Puglia working the harvest here in Salice Salentino. And in those eleven months, I plan to write, shoot, mic, …

Kitchen Knives

I have a friend that received a full scholarship to Oxford for correctly crediting as at that time, yet-to-be-authenticated Carvaggio. How did she do it when even all her professors were wrong? ‘It was simpler than his earlier works. Maturity seeks simplicity’, she said. That’s exactly my stance on kitchen knives. For me, the more I …

Cooking with Copper

‘Don’t ever do that… again’, said Quentin Bacon. One of the world’s greatest food photographers was standing in front of our gleaming copper pots and pans, his disappointment as palpable as if someone had just cut his hair with a pocketknife. The pans glowed orange, seemingly shining from within, as if polished by Medieval illuminators. We …

Preserving (in) Puglia

I’ve never darned or mended anything in my life, with the exception of the odd button. I don’t see the value in changing my own motor oil. Anything beyond a spent light bulb at our Cooking School in Italy awaits Mauro our electrician. Even climbing onto a horse seems unnecessary nowadays, especially with car keys …

26 Cups of Espresso

How hard was it to set up an ecommerce platform, able to send our Extra Virgin Olive Oil around the world? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you but it was 26 cups of coffee. And weeks of time passed between them. Everything in Southern Italian happens over Espresso. Want to get an estimate …
‘Soprapeso’, said the counteragent, without even looking up from reading my ticket. ‘Overweight’. My cheeks started to sting with embarrassment, as I had indeed packed it on while travelling over the holidays. And then I realised that she was referring to my four oversized bags, each bulging at its zippers. When I first started the …

Coming Back

A check mark by the name means they have already been to the school once before, where as an underline means that they have been more than once, and there was a lot of blue ink on the page. We were boarding the private coach for the castle and half of the group- 11 out …

Coming back to Puglia

We all met under the arch of Porta Napoli, about to load up our luggage to head down to the castle for the week. I knew we had returning students but it wasn’t until I actually looked over their faces did I realise how many. Over half.  A lump formed in my throat that I …

Food & Travel Magazine

Lately, it seems that food and wine journalism has taken a strange turn. Or It might be that it’s always been strange,  and it’s just that I’m new to it. Or that my perception is peculiar, as I’m in this odd position of being on both sides of the industry, both producing the ink on …