Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The next chapter...

My journey has taken me to the beautiful Azienda Agrituristico Seliano in Paestum, Salerno where I will stay and work for the next month. Run by Baroness Cecilia Bellelli Baratta and her two sons, Massimo and Etttore; I am now part of an extended family who live and work on a farm and run a restaurant and Bed & Breakfast which raises Buffalo’s for their coveted (and rich) milk and meat. More than just a hotel, guests connect with the local produce and traditions of the region through food and first rate hospitality.

These updates will take on a different rhythm now that I am no longer moving busily through big cities gorging myself with digestible information. I will do my best to discuss specific recipes and processes and also give insight to the climate and terrain, histories and imperfections which produce what the world commonly knows as “Italian food”; namely Pizza, Pasta, Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce.

These images are meant to give the surface mis-en-scene to my next phase in Italy. It is this tranquility which offsets the kitchens bustle of frying, dicing, plating, washing, pounding, rolling, braising, sweating and EATING which transpires throughout the day.

On my first day all I heard was Mangia, Mangia, Mangia; the kitchen brigades’ way of letting it be known that they are serious about food, that these are the perks of the job and likely…to fatten me up! (little do the know about my eating habits). This included homemade cured Buffalo served sliced like Prosciutto, Mozzarella, grilled vegetables, Braciole, fried Potato Croquettes and Melanzane (Eggplant) balls, savory and sweet Cakes and homemade Marmalades. To be clear, this was just the beginning…

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