Currently Browsing: Artisans

To My Surprise: Learning to Make Organic Focaccia and Pasta

I never expected Italian wine to lead me into the kitchen, a place I’ve never felt comfortable or adept. But two women chefs and the local, organic flour mill, Mulino di Val D’Orcia, have inspired me. To my surprise, I’m finding out that it’s much easier to make focaccia and pasta than I thought. Having […]

CONTINUE READING

Healthy Organic Pasta: The Real Story Behind Gluten Intolerance

Amadeo Grappi, a young artisan producer of organic stone ground flour and pasta at the Mulino Di Val D’Orcia in Tuscany, gave me a clear explanation for the rise in gluten intolerance and loss of nutritional value in wheat products. As he says in this video, the problems arise from two things: the use of […]

CONTINUE READING

Transforming Tuscany: The Origo Family in the Val D’Orcia

Italian-American, Iris Origo and her husband, Antonio Origo, illegitimate son of the Marchese Origo in Florence bought an enormous estate in¬†Valley of the Orcia River in the 1920s and transformed the area. Their daughters, Donata and Benedetta, still live at La Foce and La Chiarentana, making outstanding organic olive oil and offering parts of the […]

CONTINUE READING

A Florentine Architect Paints Fabrics with Flair in Tuscany

After leaving Florence for an intense career in architecture and graphic design in Milan, Francesca Gaultieri, returned to her native Tuscany to create an artisan workshop. She paints, dyes and silkscreens fabrics for making whimsical bags, pillows, clothes and linens by hand. Every piece is one of a kind, deliciously unique. Entirely self-taught from reading […]

CONTINUE READING

Cooking in Raffaella’s Kitchen in Montalcino, Tuscany

In a few hours time, Raffaella Cova convinced me that I could make an authentic and delicious Italian meal. Cooking, which usually feels stressful to me, became a genuine pleasure with Raffaella. Her expertise and easy laugh encouraged me. An extra incentive was knowing that we would sit down for lunch with a glass of […]

CONTINUE READING

Hand Harvesting Sea Salt in Sicily

On the west coast of Sicily, between Trapani and Marsala, sea salt is still harvested according to ancient tradition of the Phoenicians. A series of “pans” or saline are arranged so that the sea water slowly evaporates by the heat of the sun. In late spring, sea water flows into the deepest pans with carefully […]

CONTINUE READING

Vannulo: Pioneering Organic Mozzarella in Paestum

Antonio Palmieri relentlessly pursued pioneering research into how to make the highest quality mozzarella, with the happiest, healthiest buffalo. For starters, the cheese is organic, but there is more. The buffalo never get vaccines, hormones or artificial insemination. They are fed organic fodder, grown on the estate, are treated only with homeopathic remedies, and live […]

CONTINUE READING

Lucio Liguori: Ceramic Artist in Amalfi

Lucio Liguori was the featured artist at a Slow Food event on sardines at the Locanda Del Mare near Paestum (an hour or so south of Amalfi). His ceramics are full of life, seeming to be real whether they were swimming down the cupboards… or gathered in a bowl. Each piece is unique and made […]

CONTINUE READING

Caseificio Cugusi: Pioneers of Pecorino Cheese in Tuscany

In 1962, Raffaele Cugusi uprooted his entire family from an established life on the island of Sardinia and took them, sight unseen, to an abandoned farm in Tuscany. Italian farmers (mostly sharecroppers) were were leaving the land in droves for better paying factory or city jobs. Raffaele, an entrepreneur with a vision, had an instinct […]

CONTINUE READING

Know and Love "Real" Olive Oil: Johnny Madge

Johnny Madge, British by birth, has lived most of his life in Italy and has become an olive oil expert. I met with him at Osteria [glossary_exclude] Vigna [/glossary_exclude], which he co-owns, in the medieval borgo of Casperia, north of Rome. He ships oil around Italy and to the US, offers oil tastings and tours, […]

CONTINUE READING