I am from Mississippi in the United States, got my  MA in art history and spent a decade organizing exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. For 20 years I have been living in Italy, first in Sicily and now in Tuscany, learning about olive oil and local culinary traditions from my Sicilian relatives and from producers, farmers, home cooks and chefs.

I search for food and wine that reflect the territory and tradition of the place where it was made. I travel around exploring, finding my way deep into the boondocks of Italy to hunt out the artisan producers who make the foods that I like to eat, have a chat, tell them thank you and pack up my car with tasty treats to bring back home. I live in a 15th century farmhouse on the estate of a medieval castle. I love the beauty of the landscape and the nooks and crannies of the little ancient villages and stumbling on works of art that are still in the places for which they were made.

 

The programs I design have a bit of all of this. The idea is to provide you with the means to step into Italian culture by tasting typical foods and meeting the people who make them while enjoying the beauty, the monuments and works of art, exploring, learning, relaxing and taking it all in.  

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I am certified as an olive oil taster by the Regione Toscana and as a wine taster by ONAV, the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori di Vino.

I wrote two guidebooks to the enchanting island of Sicily, see below. 

 

I lecture on Italian foodways to university students and alumni travel groups. I develop recipes, teach olive oil tasting seminars, lead guided wine tastings and teach cooking lessons.

 

I lead virtual visits discovering Italy through art and food.

I collaborate with the azienda agricola Sàgona on the production of extra virgin olive oil, the real deal.

travel. learn. discover. 

Culinary traditions and local gastronomy reveal the culture of a place. 

Food artisans give a dynamic voice to culture and tradition. Genuine producers are dedicated to working within their own tradition and territory to farm the land and transform nature's bounty into foods and wines with a strong sense of place.

I provide local access to hidden places and artisan food producers with custom itineraries for excursions and culinary travel programs  that enrich your travel experience helping you fully appreciate the culture through the gastronomy in the context of territory, history and art.

publications 
guidebooks

Top Ten Sicily, Dorling Kindersley, 2001+

 

Thomas Cook Travellers Sicily, 2011

articles

 Viking Life 

food magazines

Hachette Home settembre 2010

Una domenica vicini vicini

sale & pepe novembre 2012

Menu di charme in Toscana, novembre 2012

sale & pepe ottobre 2013

Pie for dinner

sale & pepe novembre 2103

Castagne