Curious Appetite

{recipe!} Tuscan (chickpea) ceci & market romanesco soup

I love making soups. Especially after a cooking lesson with one of my chef friends Melissa of Musang Seattle (trained in Florence, now off doing badass things like cooking at the James Beard House, bringing Filipino flavor to Seattle’s pop-up scene and winning cooking battles on TV).

I detailed our little lesson in this post, and they are memories which have always stuck with me. My soup and risotto game haven’t been the same since. I’ve always believed in Melissa’s special touch and skill, a cook with soul and a rare kind of heart in the kitchen. Whenever I make soup, religiously using the tips she taught me in my once kitchen which gazed the Duomo from dusk till dawn, I hope to impart at least a small apart of soul the way she does in her food.

As I have mentioned a few times now on the blog, my intention is to share more healthy, seasonal recipes using what I find at the markets in Florence. I hope you enjoy this Tuscan-sourced vegetable forward soup pulsing with ceci (chickpeas). Pronounced “che-chi.” Continue Reading

Hacks for staying healthy as a food writer and while traveling

Happy new year, curious readers! You may have noticed if you follow me on social media I’ve been in the states, and of course hopping way through Los Angeles, Seattle and now San Francisco. This “staying healthy in the food industry” is a topic I’ve long wanted to go into depth about and what better a time then when we’re all touting our resolutions and intentions, some of which health driven.

Americans are spending billions more on going out to eat than they are on groceries, and (according to the article I linked ^) millennials are the largest generation in history with an appetite for eating out- on average going out to eat nearly 4 times a week! There are additional factors which contribute to a staggeringly well-oiled restaurant industry, like a nearly double fold increase in women in the workplace since the 1950’s (grazie to sorta kinda gender equality- nothing is mentioned about equal pay). There are websites that report solely about restaurants and I get paid to write for some of them- dining out culture is a huge thing- but at what cost to our health?

While traveling, it is inevitable that you’ll eat out more. I admittedly fall into that statistic of at least 4 times a week, if not 5 from a combination of work, convenience & as part of my social life. Eating out nearly every day is not only expensive, wasteful of resources & unsustainable on so many levels- it simply is not healthy. Oil (and not the scrupulous high quality kind we select for home use) and copious amounts of salt are just 2 of the sneaky rascals after our diet.

Travel is jarring healthwise since you aren’t in your kitchen nor in your routine, you’re around transport which emit either gas fumes or small levels of radiation, and are more likely to eat out more. This post will provide some useful tips and personal experience for how I as a food writer stay (or try to stay) healthy.

Continue Reading

3 Fine Food & Wine Pairing Fails- Lessons from Italian Sommelier Training

oysters & bubbles- you’re doing it wrong

Hey readers! I’m sorry I’ve been rather quiet on the blog. The last couple months have been intense- from launching a food & negroni club, managing my food tour hustle, writing articles for Eater and now currently traveling like a crazy woman in the USA between LA, Seattle and San Francisco. Not to mention, having just completed an Italian Sommelier certification with FISAR Firenze which I had been following for the last year. Officially I have completed all 3 levels and now am one big exam away from Italian Sommelier status. Yikes!

The last level still fresh on my mind was Level 3: Food & Wine Pairing. With the holidays among us, I’d like to offer you some useful life tips which you may apply during current festivities and the holiday gatherings to come. In short, if you’ve been pairing turkey or steak with Brunello, oysters or caviar with champagne or truffles with Barolo- you’re doing it wrong. Read on to know why! Continue Reading

Where to eat in Florence on Christmas Day (updated 2017)

photo credit: Silvio Palladino
photo credit: Silvio Palladino

Are you looking for where to eat in Florence on Christmas day? Fear not, traveling food lovers! Curious Appetite did all the dirty work of calling around Florence, even across the world as currently I’m hanging out on the West Coast spending the holidays with friends & fam. The pickings for what’s open in Florence on christmas day are tight & clean including Persian kebab, Georgian dumplings, traditional spots for Florentine fare & steak and pasta & pizza bars. I first compiled this list in 2016 and have updated it for your dining delight.  Continue Reading

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