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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Stealing Italy

Recently I returned to a project that was initially started in Italy after leaving Art School in Florence.

 The book begins when I move to live in the Tuscan hills after my studies. Inspired by the surrounding countryside I was able to comprehend for the first time the true essence of country life.

Brimming with respect for the Italian culture, so wonderful and diverse I re-discovered my love for food.

As I wrote this book, I noticed how interesting it was, to note how each person has a different relationship with food and how our eating habits tell us so much about our character.

 I started to write this book as a journal with all the recipes that inspired me to cook for myself and others. It was important to me that the book would be helpful to improve our relationship with food and discover ones inner creativity.

To help me describe my journey and paint a picture of Italian life, I have illustrated the book with a range of landscape and still life paintings.

 A chapter on wine was also essential to help inform others (and myself) on how to choose and match wine to food. So I employed the help of sommelier Valeria Rodriguez who grew up within the italian tradition of cooking and has provided wine recommendations for each recipe.

Thanks to living with Italians and people from different cultures from my own, I discovered I could stretch my expertise from cooking English roasts and pies, to learning how to make breads, pasta, soups and stews. I began to enjoy eating salads, shellfish, cabbage, anchovies and all things I thought I disliked before. I tasted tongue and intestines and learnt to make homemade olive oil soap. I surprised myself by how much I was able to pick up and wanted to harvest the moment.

So I set forth collecting all the recipes that I could gather and as I practiced I scribbled and as I watched I drew and flexed my brushes, teaching myself to break loose from my classical training in art and paint more freely, which was true to me.

3 years later, having left Italy I have returned to this book. How often do you have to think about something before you make it a reality?

We are all creatures of creation and reflect our talents in our different ways. This book is about embracing creativity through art and food.

Above are some of the images on sale that I have done to illustrate the book  

If you would like to see a sample of the book please contact me on
              07884 431 194