Living a Life in Colour
Learn about Italian food and culture- a healthy and elegant way of life for the whole family. A comprehensive food guide to Italy with travel ideas.
Many people probe me about my decision to write about Italy. This is rather a loaded question full of presumption of a romanticized Tuscan summer holiday. The answer is (aside from the clear influence of my Italian husband which came later) that when I am in Italy I feel I am on the pulse of life. Italians find celebration interwoven in everyday aspects of life from children and childhood to family life and the enjoyment of other people. Food binds these elements and reinforces them. The simplicity, emphasis on quality and tradition distill the Italian approach to life on a plate. While Italian food is perceived as highly sophisticated and elegant, Italian cuisine begins in the garden and frugality is actually highly esteemed. Life in Italy is far from perfect but the resilience of Italians is firmly rooted in family and the simple act of sharing a meal.
In this chaotic and increasingly complicated world we live in sometimes focusing on the elements of life: family and food, brings the world back into focus and roots us firmly in our own sense of who we are. Implied is an invisible string to the land, the earth from which the food was born and times were simpler (although more basic). I am fascinated by this interconnection from producer to market and market to plate. I write to share my experiences with the hope to inspire, comfort and converse with the world. Consider this an invitation to sit down, have a chat and share a piece of life.
Discover the secrets to Italian food and culture. Knowingly buy Italian ingredients and cook Italian food with confidence. Enjoy Italian food with friends and family. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Italian food and wine – step by step authentic Italian recipes, guide to ingredients, cooking tools manual, and culinary instruction.
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Why Living a Life in Colour?
I enjoy inspiring and educating people to travel to and enjoy Italy and Italian food as I do.
It took me 6 years to research the information presented here from books and websites, in both Italian and English, from sources such as Slow Food, Veronelli, Marcella Hazan, Academia Barilla, Pelligrino Artusi, Ada Boni, the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, and many more as you can see in the resource list as well as experts in the field and my own first-hand experiences and experiments. In the interests of guaranteeing the reliability of the information, it was checked with natives from every region in Italy, well-known Italian cookbook authors, culinary journalists and wine experts. Please see credits for more details. Each recipe has been trialed and tested multiple times to ensure effortless success every time.
The main focus of this website is to translate these ideas and recipes into Chinese for my friends and family but English speakers can also enjoy the English version of the site.
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I was born in 1974 in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada where my parents were both attending university. My father is Chinese and my mother is British Canadian. I grew up in Canada and the San Francisco Bay area with my older brother. I studied Economics at Claremont McKenna College, with a term at the University of Florence to study Italian and Italian art history. I then studied at the California Culinary Academy and cooked at Greens in San Francisco. Next, I studied Development Studies and Economics at the London School of Economics and then moved around between Beijing, Hong Kong, New York City and London working in banking and development banking. I married my Italian British husband in Italy, moved to Hong Kong with our two young sons and my father and recently returned back to the UK and had a daughter. I am very passionate about the ethos of Slow Food and was a committee member of Slow Food Hong Kong.
My husband, my children, my brother, my parents and my friends.
To do: start and end everyday with my husband and kids, I love going to the beach anywhere, skiing in the Alps with my friend Laura, scuba diving, visiting wet markets, going to the countryside, the summer in the South of France, eating pastries in Paris, eating gelato in Italy, going to pubs in the summertime in London and drinking Pimms, barbeques, picnics in the park with friends, driving along the coast in California and South Africa, shopping at ABC home and carpet in New York with my good friend Lotta, walking around the West Village of New York City, Union Square farmer’s market, rug shopping in Central Asia, dinner parties with friends, travelling (favourite places are: Uzbekistan, Rajastan, the Maldives, Seychelles, Knysna, Maine in the summer, Zanzibar, and of course Italy), cherry kvass in Odessa, leaf peeping and apple picking in the fall in the eastern part of Canada, sailing anywhere (by this I mean sitting on the boat rather than tying knots and running around), and horseback riding on the beach.
hazelnut chocolate spread, artichokes, figs, white truffles, oscietra caviar with blinis and crème fraîche, zubrovka vodka with apple juice, pistachio halva, cashew baklava, fattoush, fresh watermelon juice, ACE, fresh carrot juice, Alphonso mango ice cream, real key lime pie, Meyer lemons, limoncello, ragù al cinghiale, red prawns, gazpacho, cigalas, champagne, Amarone, red and white Burgundy, mantis prawns, turbot, ossobuco (particularly the bone marrow), creamed corn, XO sauce, mango pudding, strawberry millefeuille, Pierre Marcolini chocolates- hot chocolate and the Venezuelan, Welsh rarebit, Eton’s mess, Alaskan king crab legs, hairy crab, See’s nuts and chews chocolates, baci, torta verde, Fassone or Chianina steaks, cappelleti ai tre arrosti, mozzarella di bufala, burrata, fourme d’ambert, comté or gruyere, taleggio, tome, lady finger grapes, okra, dou miao, hedgehog mushrooms, morels, chanterelles, porcini mushrooms, lobster spaghetti, asparagus, prosciutto di San Daniele, really amazing tomatoes, really amazing unfiltered olive oil from Liguria or Tuscany -preferably my friend Romilda’s, peaches, cherries, broad beans, beet greens, sweetbreads, wood oven baked bread, pizza, focaccia, schiacciata, fresh river prawns, my mother’s Christmas cookies, raclette, tartiflette, beef tartar, grilled octopus, pesto sauce, soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers, Vietnamese pho, toro, hamachi, and salmon sashimi, croissants integrale, cherry blintzes, pretzel croissant from City Bakery, Belgian waffles with strawberries, fragoline, mochi, 7-layer dip, hibiscus, Montreal bagels (sorry New York), plateau du mer, dosas, caramel macaroons, tarte citron, fried red date cake from Suzhou, my ni-ni‘s walnut tea, bai tang gao, won ton mian, pani puri, bi bim bap, jap chae, really the list is endless….
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