Four ways to fall in love with Florence

It was 2001. Two weeks shy of my 21st birthday, exactly 15 years ago. I arrived at the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence after flying halfway around the globe to Rome to start a semester-long etching course as part of my Fine Art degree. I had a suitcase and a few Italian lessons behind me — not enough to understand a conversation but maybe to figure out a menu, for the most part. I had no idea where I would even stay the night, let... Read More

Renovating a kitchen in Florence

I’ve put up with some pretty awful kitchens in my 18 years of renting, particularly in Florence. Most of them called for some inventive improvising and I’m sure in some way or another that I’m a better, or at least more resourceful, cook because of them. There was the one in the studio apartment with a mini bar as a fridge and only one burner, next to the bed. There was the one in a loft over the stairs – only one person could... Read More

Settignano, the Other Florence

We’ve moved again. I’m losing count but I think it’s the seventh move since I started this blog which I began while living in a shabby fifth-floor apartment that I fell in love with for its rooftop views of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, never mind that it was freezing in the winter and a sauna in the summer (the bathroom may have been miniscule with no water pressure but who could pass it up when there was a view of the Duomo... Read More

Favourite Florence Eats

One of the things I was keen to include in Florentine was a little address book of my favourite places to eat and shop for food like a local. They’re places I like to go to, places where you are guaranteed to find really typical Florentine dishes, at a good price, and eat well. For those who don’t have my cookbook yet, I wanted to compile a little list of some of my favourites, many of which I have written about before and which are still... Read More

Trattoria Da Burde, as Florentine as you get

I had known about this place for years, heard so many good things, knew it was just the sort of place I would love. But somehow it took me years to get there — perhaps because of not being right in the centre of Florence (it’s in the neighbourhood of Peretola, very close to the airport) and having opening hours that aren’t always easy to fit in with (they’re only open for lunch during the week and Friday nights for dinner).... Read More

Torta di Mele from Florentine + a giveaway!

It’s been two months since the book has “been out there” — Two exhilarating, nerve-wracking and unbelievable months and sold out book launch dinners and workshops in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and London! To say thank you for all the wonderful support and enthusiasm for Florentine, I’m sharing one of my favourite recipes from the book — a humble but delightful apple cake – and I’m giving away a limited... Read More

Behind the scenes of Florentine

It’s officially out! We launched Florentine last week and the cookbook has started arriving on shelves. It’s finally out there. Now that it is, and this huge project, which began two years ago, is out there for everyone to see, I feel the urge to talk about the wonderful people who I worked with to make it what it is, because it is very much a collaborative project — from the publishing team, to the designer who created the beautiful... Read More

Join me to celebrate the launch of Florentine

Two years ago I received an email from a publisher asking if I would like to make a cookbook. It was a wild, far fetched dream of mine come true. And finally, it’s here – an ode to the city where I met my soul mate, started my blog and feel most at home. To celebrate the release of the book, I have a series of events lined up in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. They are the sort of things that have been planned with like-minded people with... Read More

Brunch at Teatro del Sale

I love to eat at a place where there’s a bit of action (and interaction) in the kitchen during service, and Teatro del Sale is just the place for it in Florence. It is part of the kingdom of Florentine chef, Fabio Picchi, who runs four fabulous eateries all on the doorstep of the Sant’Ambrogio Markets. But rather than the more formal world of Picchi’s famous Cibreo restaurant, at Teatro del Sale, you get the good, no-nonsense food,... Read More

Pollo al burro (chicken in butter)

You know when you have a dish in a restaurant that you can’t stop thinking about and every time you go you can’t bear to veer away from that dish so you keep ordering it, never trying anything else because you have been constantly thinking about it since your last visit? Well this, for me, is one of those. It is quite simple – chicken in butter, presented just as it sounds, a tender chicken breast floating in a delicious sauce of butter.... Read More