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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Piedmont & Celebrity Chef

Its amazing how differently you act when you are far away from home…you start slotting into another culture and I find myself doing things I wouldn't normally say or do at home. When it's a mad in the kitchen …the pots and pans are flying, the dirty plates are stacked sky high and everyone is hot and exhausted, I find myself putting hand to my forehead in dramatic pose and exclaiming "MAMA MIA FA CALDO" loudly – (in the kitchen, I think I'm Italian) There were times at 12 at night.. I would be limping up the stairs after working since 9 that morning…mutter mutter "these Italians are trying to kill me..swear swear in Italian" J….legs so sore from standing.. thinking I'm going to lose a limb…if it falls off right here on the stairs I'll just HOP on to my bedroom cos I'm so damn tired to pick it up !!

On my days off I have taken to sauntering around the beach in my bikini (everyone does here, old, young, fat, thin..and don't get me started on the LILAC speedos!)…I go to the bars & cafes on the beach in my bikini…would I do this at home? Are you nuts?! The people here are less worried about what others think and just tend so relax and enjoy the beach no matter your age or size… just have fun. So I go for my walks on the sand feeling carefree.. I do however forget that the people can't really see who I am anyway due to the large mound of lemon or chocolate gelato I'm carrying that obscures my face J (so large possibly people think there is an eclipse) I even find myself preferring to hop across the road (instead of staying at my hotel) to the dodgy bar to drink even more dodgy wine (something I could never do at home in SA)… and love watching the diverse patrons come and go. Tattooed "chocca" fishermen types sitting around playing cards, young men playing that soccer table game…undispersed with housewives running to the bar to glug a quick espresso & well groomed ladies who park their bicycles, have a quick small beer, and off they go again!
This blog was created because I love eating, cooking, drinking and the whole theatre that surrounds good food and sharing it. What better place to experience this than one of the most interesting food havens of the world. A few months before your wedding…eating your way thru Italy…hmmm maybe not the best idea J I mean even Julia put on in Eat Pray Love didn't she? (my version.. Eat Shop Snog)..but then again she had no impending matrimonials and is 6 ft supermodel not a 5 ft midget! Everything was going really well on Operation Wedding Diet, until I found out where those pesky chocolate croissants were stashed every morning at Alla Lanterna…

I love the anonymity of being here. I'm not Jen from Deli on Main, just some little apprentice in the kitchen who has to do the dirty work and as far as they are concerned knows nothing about cooking. I prefer it that way.. its humbling to be taught things and best to act as if you know nothing so you will be shown their way of making it. (which most times is the best way & the way its been done for a very long time) On the streets I'm just another tourist who irritatingly is taking yet another photo of the narrow cobbled street (while the 100s of cyclists are running me over!) and yet to them looks like every other street with pretty flowering window boxes.

So as I write this now, I'm sitting on my first proper train, heading to the port town of Genoa, then Piedmont. It's my first train ride so I was pretty excited (yes nuts I know)… possibly after 6 hours on this train, I won't be so excited ha ha J My quest …the search (and learning to make!) the perfect Gnocchi and Pesto and no better than to learn in the place the dish originated from.

Most excitingly, (and thanks so much to Stefs mum for organising this!) will be spending time with celebrity Italian chef Juri Risso who has Ristorante La Bruceta in the small town of Cremolino. He is extremely well known and well respected chef and has his own show on Italian TV over here…I'm already having fantasies of how I can possibly get my chops on TV as the very fabulous and glamorous English speaking assistant …LOL! (Oprah interview" Jen and tell me how WERE you discovered?" Jen Celebrity Chef SA version of sexy Nigella " well Oprah I had a small appearance on a lunch time cooking program with Juri Risso in Italy …. ")

Well a girl can dream…In the meantime….so little time and yet sooooo much pasta… J
Arrivederci … next update from Piedmont xxxx

PS Returning to Fano before I come home end September to learn one more fabulous dessert at Alla Lanterna (didn't have time) and check on my kittens!

1 comment:

  1. Very intrigued to see what Genoa brings you as well as Piedmont!

    Never had the opportunity to see these areas when I was there. Gnocchi! One of my favourite dishes of Italy, especially when it is in a sort of light pesto coating!
    Share some of your delicious recipes!

    The Wanderfull Traveler