Curious Appetite is at it again- eating way too much for the sake of important journalism! Hey, it’s a hard job but someone has got to do it!
This was one of my favorite commissions yet, not to mention one of the proudest moments in my career. While I mostly rag on Florence’s dining scene, I definitely come to her defense when people say “A Firenze si mangia male” perche’ e’ troppo turistica” (Food sucks in Florence thanks a lot to mass tourism). Yes, Florence’s tourism problem is getting out of hand and with very haphazard approaches towards addressing it, but there are indeed valid gems still worth eating at near Florence’s major attractions.
Between researching stops for my progressive dining tour in Florence and eating out (aka my favorite thing), I have come to find the restaurants in Florence who serve excellent pasta- so I wrote a dining guide all about if for Vogue Magazine.
My first job in Italy involved assisting & translating cooking classes. We made fresh pasta during every lesson, taught by a little Italian nonna who didn’t speak English. It was one of the most fulfilling jobs I ever had- I was able to put my Italian language to use which I spent years at University learning plus doing something with my passion for cuisine.
After doing who knows how many lessons and rolling out pasta, making tagliatelle, gnudi and tortelli- I sort of became discerning about my pasta. Now I prefer tagliatelle from paper thin sheets, even if I’m not sure if this is the “right” way. I can’t stand if tagliatelle strands are thick (in height) and I can’t explain how, but I usually can tell when fresh pasta is made in-house or when they have bought it from a industrial pastificio. I love making pasta at home just as much as I love eating pasta. Now on to pursuing an independent career, I still learn pasta secrets from the local culinary expertson the pasta making classes I help arrange.
Traveling solo, huh? Well, first I’d like to give you a proverbial high five in light of my high five anxiety because #1 it takes guts to travel especially these days. Not because travel should be or is scary (travel is safe in Europe, guys!), but travel seems scary mega thanks to idiot media outlets.
And high five for #2: traveling on your own- this is one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences on planet earth. Since I write about food, I hope this post proves helpful for solo travelers- both as a guide to where to eat in Florence but also tips & insight for meeting others during your travels around Italy. Continue Reading →
“There are only two mantras, yum and yuck, mine is yum.”― Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker (one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever read)
“Work is love made visible. And if you can’t work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.” ― Kahlil Gibran
“The tortoise heard his taunting jeer, But still resolved to persevere, You may deride my awkward pace, But slow and steady wins the race.” The Tortoise and the Hare, Aesop
All which can explain my silence around these blog’s parts, not laziness I assure you! I’ve been incredibly busy, more busy than I’ve ever been: testing out eateries (yum) designing a new food tour in Bologna (love) and somehow magically meeting article deadlines (slow and steady wins the race).
If you are looking for the best restaurants in Florence, check out this guide I wrote for Eater, that I tortured myself over, from eating out to hours of writing, but eventually got it done:
People frequently ask, “what’s the difference between a trattoria, ristorante and osteria?” Trattoria Cammillo is one of those places you just intuitively know it falls in a different category as an institutional Florentine keepsake. To answer your question however, Trattoria is where you eat home-cooked food, family-style service at blue-collar prices, Ristorante is white table cloth with higher quality food and service and usually better wine selection. Osteria used to be a place like a tavern where you’d just go to drink and have simple food, and historically where you could sleep too like an Inn, the original name for Osteria roots from Hostaria. Continue Reading →