Born in London to Italian parents, I've always been very proud of my Italian heritage.
As a young child I loved coming to Italy with my parents and two sisters to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I remember the long (and often uncomfortable) but exciting train or car journeys, and the loving welcomes we received when we arrived. I have so many special memories of the fun times spent with our family in Italy, and a large part of these memories include the kitchen, and the distinctive smell of my nonna's wood oven which we used to prepare delicious food for the large family meals we would sit down and enjoy together. I remember my nonno and nonna's wonderful garden where the fresh fruit and vegetables were grown on different levels, eventually leading down to the sea. I remember my grandparents picking the delicious tomatoes to fill enormous baskets, while I stood eating them! They were absolutely delicious. So many special memories that as a young child I would dream of one day coming to live in Italy. Little did I know then that one day that dream would become a reality!
The heart of our home has always been the kitchen for as long as I can remember, and where I would watch my mother prepare the most amazing and delicious food, using family recipes and traditions passed down from my nonnas' kitchens, to create wonderful dishes for the family to share. It is thanks to my mother's passion for cooking, amazing cooking skills and wonderful food that influenced and inspired me the most in the kitchen, and in turn led to my own love of cooking and teaching Hands-on Italian Cooking Classes.
Realising the fascination that foreigners have for Italian food, I decided to offer not just Italian language classes but also Italian cooking classes. So Netta's Kitchen was born, part of Cortona Language Centre - learning Italian in the kitchen. What could be more fun!!
Cooking classes are in Netta's Kitchen at our restored farmhouse just a five minute drive down the hill from the centre of Cortona, and where from July we are surrounded by fields of either sunflowers or wheat.