July 19, 2013
My last two nights in Florence I stayed in a bed & breakfast called Casa Tintori located on the street of the same name in the Santa Croce neighborhood in the city center near where I had been staying during class the previous two weeks. Corso dei Tintori, which translates literally as "over the dyers" is located near the Arno River and there is a reason this building was close by. It was used as a house to die wool. There was a famous textile industry located in Florence. Wool dyers, spinners and weavers worked here to supply some of the finest clothiers in Europe.
It is no mistake or chance that I would have found this place.
July 13, 2013
My hosts in Ventimiglia, Elizabeth and Pierre, are vegans and former chefs of some notoriety in the Washington DC area.
They know food and care about where it comes from and how it tastes and how providers care about the earth. In Petrini's definition of new gastronome, Elizabeth and Pierre are role models.
I asked if I could have a cooking lesson and they generously agreed.
I learned to make a Ligurian dish called Farinata which is a thin flatbread or focaccia made from a dough comprised of protein dense chickpea flour, water and olive oil. It is sometimes flavored with rosemary, fresh spring onion or bianchetti which are newborn fish and whatever vegetables you have on hand. They bake theirs in a cast iron skillet with plenty of olive oil.