With just over a week until the publication of Preserving Italy (June 14) I thought I’d take the opportunity to officially introduce you to book #7 and to let you know about upcoming events, including dinners, cooking classes, talks and signings. If you’re in the vicinity of an event, please come out and say hi.
About the book: Preserving Italy, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is a tribute to the many wonderful ways Italians put up food. It began with my quest to reproduce my grandmother’s amarene sotto spirito (sour cherries preserved in alcohol) and kind of took off from there. I purposely chose a broad definition of the word “preserving” so in addition to fruit preserves, there are recipes and techniques for preserving vegetables preserved in oil and in vinegar; a range of condiments; a few fresh cheeses and simple salumi (including homemade garlic and cheese sausages); syrups and liqueurs; and a handful of confections (hooray for the preserving qualities of sugar!).
In addition to recipes there are stories. I got to watch some wonderful Italian food artisans at work. Several are profiled in the book: Paolo Anselmino and Noemi Lora, who produce beautiful savory and sweet preserves at their shop near Alba; Genoa’s pesto “ambassador Roberto Panizza;” Marco Biagetti and Rosita Cariani, owners of a famed salumeria in the tiny Umbrian town of Bevagna; Sabato Abagnale, a producer of organic canned tomatoes outside of Naples; the Palmieri family, makers of superb buffalo mozzarella; and my friend Francesca Di Nisio, a producer of organic olive oil in Abruzzo.
The photography: I want to give a shout-out to the photo team of Lauren Volo (photographer); Molly Swift (food stylist); Rich Vassilatos (prop stylist); and Drew Salvatore (assistant). It was the first time I’ve ever attended a photo shoot for one of my books, and I was amazed by what these talented people produced in one corner of a Brooklyn studio apartment.
Stay tuned for more on the book, including a giveaway here on the blog and elsewhere, and sneak-peek recipes.
Events: Here’s a list of what is scheduled so far, with more details about each event on my Events Calendar. I’ll continue to update that page, and my social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and Twitter), with new events, changes, etc. Hope to see you at one of these:
June 15: Preserving Italy book launch dinner at Le Virtu, Philadelphia. Join me, James Beard-nominated Chef Joe Cicala and his talented team for a ticketed dinner based on the book.
June 18: Tasting and book signing at Salt and Sundry, at Union Market, DC. This shop is one of my favorite stops in DC for housewares and accessories.
June 21: Preserving Italy book dinner at La Fromagerie, Old Town Alexandria. Join chef/owner Sebastien Tavel and me for a ticketed dinner based on the book.
June 24 and 25: Stonewall Kitchen, York, ME. Join me for two classes at this state-of-the-art school in picturesque York, featuring recipes from Preserving Italy and my other books.
June 27: Nativity Italian Heritage and Cultural Society, in Burke, VA, is hosting me for an evening talk on Italian preserving and cooking traditions.
June 29: Join me for a discussion on Italian preserving traditions and cooking at the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), Washington, D.C., hosted by the D.C. chapter of the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW).
July 2: Tasting and book signing at one of my longtime favorite spots, La Cuisine, in Old Town Alexandria. Hey, even if you aren’t a fan of Italian preserves, it’s worth coming to see owner Nancy Purves Pollard’s excellent selection of cookware and specialty tools and ingredients.
July 7: COOK: Join me for a Preserving Italy cooking class at this kitchen-classroom in Philadelphia. Details to come.
July 9: Cooking demo and lunch at Osteria Morini DC, right on the Anacostia waterfront. Chef Matt Adler and I will demo recipes from Preserving Italy (including homemade pasta) and we’ll all enjoy lunch outdoors on the patio, weather permitting. With dessert by the restaurant’s uber-talented pastry chef, Alex Levin. More details soon.
July 12: Italian liqueur workshop at Red Barn Mercantile, Old Town Alexandria. Learn how to make homemade limoncello and other Italian liqueurs in this hands-on class. Plus, you get to take your bottle of booze home with you! 6-8 p.m.
July 14: Southern Season, Chapel Hill, NC. Join me for a cooking class at this state-of-the-art venue, featuring recipes and techniques from Preserving Italy.
July 16: The Cooks Warehouse, Atlanta, GA. I haven’t been to Atlanta in a long while, so I’m especially excited to be coming to teach at this celebrated cooking school. Join me for a class featuring recipes and techniques from Preserving Italy. Details to come.
August 20: Piazza Italian Market, Easton, MD. Summer’s not over yet! I’ll be signing books and teaching a class at Piazza’s brand new cooking school. Details to come.
Sept. 30-Oct. 2: I’m delighted to be participating in the inaugural Harbor Springs Festival of the Book, in postcard-pretty Harbor Springs, MI. Journalist David Maraniss is the keynote speaker, and a luncheon featuring recipes from my books is among the special events. More details to come.
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There are still a couple of spots left for our Abruzzo Presto/Domenica Cooks culinary tour. Join us for a week-long immersion the food, culture, and landscape of this spectacular region. You can find the details on my tours page and please feel free to forward the link to friends and family with the travel bug.