I love food. But I almost love Italy more.
Curious Appetite is Coral Sisk, an Italian/Persian Made-In-America gourmet food blogger from Seattle however seriously captivated (and captured) by Italy for 12 years and counting. I love sharing my passion for Italian food, wine and culture with everyone I meet.
I’ve been an avid “culinarian” for as long as I can remember- cooking and eating with curiosity. My love affair with Italy began in 2005 when I visited Florence for the first time. As soon as I stepped foot in Piazza del Duomo, I knew I wanted to make Italy my life’s passion. From that day in 2005, I dreamt of moving to Italy and I spent subsequent years working towards this goal.
Since 2005, I put in my dues by majoring in Italian Language and Literature, studying the politics and anthropology of food in Rome, traveling to as many regions as possible, making precious friendships along the way, volunteering on organic farms, attending linguistic courses at Perugia’s University for Foreigners, living and breathing Italian culture whenever possible.
In 2012, I finally made the leap to move to Italy and Florence was not planned but that’s where I ended up. I was working on a certificate in food & wine pairing at a local wine academy while I was in Seattle building my career in food & wine. I had nearly given up on my dream to move to Italy, despite being prepared with a University degree in Italian Studies, food & wine training and an Italian passport/citizenship.
After traveling and studying abroad in Italy over 7 years, I saw some darker sides to Italy I wasn’t convinced I wanted to deal with, primarily the job & economic situation. I was comfortable in my professional Seattle life, why would I rock the boat to go live in an (economically) unstable country like Italy?
Then I noticed a flyer around campus advertising a culinary study abroad in Florence, and somehow saw this as the gateway to my dreams of moving to Italy. I thought: maybe this was my chance! I didn’t want to move to Italy with no plan and end up babysitting. Hence, going to complete a course in Tuscan food & wine pairing seemed like an appropriate first step. Although the leap came with conditions: I’d only try to move to Italy if I won a full scholarship for this Tuscan wine program in Florence I had applied for. The universe checkmated me and here I am.
I holds a bachelor’s degree in Italian Studies (language, literature & history) with a minor in Food Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle, a food & wine pairing certificate from the Northwest Wine Academy in Seattle, award in Wine & Spirits from WSET London and am currently pursuing sommelier certification from FISAR in Florence. Basically, I’m a certified Italian-speaking wino!
During my academic career, I studied abroad in Rome on 2 separate occasions, once on a food-specific academic program titled: “The Anthropology and Geopolitics of Food” where we surveyed world food production and consumption, starting with the food culture of Rome. I WWOOF’ed (workstay) on an organic farm in Puglia to learn about self-sustaining agriculture, completed food policy internships with the Washington Health Foundation, volunteered on urban farms in under-served communities in Seattle (Seattle Tilth, Cascade Harvest Coalition, etc). I originally wanted to work in food policy or in community food non-profits, but I realized the food battle needed to start with our forks and to learn where we should be putting them. Italy, to me, is a prime example of what an ideal food culture should look like and I do my best to promote that (in a fun and non-judgmental environment) through my carefully crafted food tours.
My writing has appeared in food and travel publications such as Eater, Vice Munchies, Vogue Magazine, Conde Nast and more. Check out my latest press clippings here. So what’s your job (people ask) Well, I write for but more notably, I manage a bespoke line of tasting tours that I designed and created. I am very proud (even Lonely Planet approves) to provide memorable experiences to visitors to my adopted country. You can check out all my gastronomic and culinary experiences here.