As a young child I loved coming to Italy with my parents and sisters to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I remember well the long but exciting train or car journeys and have so many special memories of the fun times we had.
A large part of these special memories include the kitchen. I loved the distinctive smell of my nonna's wood oven which would be used to prepare delicious food for the large family meals we would sit down and enjoy together. I remember my nonno and nonna's amazing garden where the fresh fruit and vegetables were grown on different levels, eventually leading down to the sea. While the delicious tomatoes were being picked to fill enormous baskets, I would just stand eating them. I remember saying to my parents that I wanted to live in Italy and little did I know then that one day I would!
Wherever we lived the kitchen has always been the heart of our home and where my mother would prepare the most delicious food, using family recipes and traditions passed down from my nonnas' kitchens, to create wonderful dishes for the family to share. It was my mother's passion for cooking that influenced and inspired me in the kitchen, and in turn led to my own love of cooking and desire to continue family traditions.