Our house in Venice is hidden away in a quiet little corner of the city, perched on the edge of a canal where few boats ever drive by. The kitchen is cozy: it’s a higgledy-piggledy room with dark, ancient wooden beams, and stone floors that are long since warped and cracked from when the water floods in at high tide. At its heart is a big open fire place, a worn marble table and a tired old cooker. It is in this kitchen that I first learned to cook.
The story of how I came to live in Venice is a serendipitous one, and in that delightfully messy way that life has, it is also kind of tied up in how I came to be a cook and a writer too. I wasn’t born there, nor are my family from there; they moved to Venice when I was tiny and before I can really remember living anywhere else. The plan was to stay for a year, but then one thing lead to another and some twenty-five years on we’re still there. For me it is home.
As is often the way for those of us who love to eat, my happiest and most vivid childhood memories are centred around food. My parents cooked and entertained often. Sometimes lunch for six, just as often for twelve or even twenty. I grew up with the belief – and more than ever, I live by it now – that there are few greater pleasures in life than to invite people into your home and share a meal with them. Where friends and food gather around a table, a certain indescribable magic occurs – even if dinner is little more than a plate of scrambled eggs on toast with a bottle of wine. Sometimes, most especially when dinner is little more than eggs and wine. Food is more than just sustenance, it is love and memories and much more in between.
I began writing this blog almost three years ago, now. I have been touched and overwhelmed by the response I have received, and to find so many others who share my love of food and for city of Venice – that still holds a special magic for me. I contribute to a number of publications, including Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Town and Country and Food 52 – and you can see more of what I am up to here. I live between London, where my husband works, and Venice, where after all these years, my heart still lies and where much of the inspiration for what I cook, eat and write about comes from.
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