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 the idea of conviviality (which means plenty of eating and drinking) and sharing stories and recipes in true Italian fashion. If you are around, please join me and come and say hello!
Thursday, February 25 – Florentine degustation at Osteria La Passione.
Chef Carmine Costantini has this wonderful, intimate restaurant in Richmond that I have always loved because of its beautiful region cuisine and farm-fresh (Carmine’s own) ingredients. I’m honoured that he is taking on a 6 course degustation menu with recipes from my cookbook – an antipasto of Tuscan crostini, polpette di trippa (a recipe from the 1600s!), chickpea soup, spinach and ricotta gnudi, bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak made with chianina beef) with all the trimmings, semolina and chocolate tart and almond cantuccini to finish. Places in this tiny restaurant are limited; bookings can be made here.
Sunday, February 28 – Cooking class and long lunch at Tamsin’s Table in Gippsland.
Join me at Tamsin’s absolutely beautiful property while we cook some of my favourite recipes from Florentine. I have always loved what Tamsin does and the philosophy behind her food: the produce comes from Tamsin’s vegetable patch; the meat is reared on her farm and even the wine grapes for the schiacciata come from winemaker friends. We will be making schiacciata all’uva (grape focaccia), ricotta and spinach gnudi with handmade cheese curd, arista (Florentine pork rib roast) with roast potatoes and twice cooked greens, panzanella salad and zuccotto, a pink, sponge-soaked dessert with a chilled ricotta and chocolate filling. And of course, we get to eat it all too. Bookings (only 3 spots left!) and more information here.
Thursday, March 3 – A Florentine dinner at Ombretta in Glebe.
Co-owner Michael Schiavello is a friend of mine from way back when I first moved to Florence over a decade ago. He’s created a wonderful Sydney neighbourhood trattoria that specialises in regional Italian cuisine. The event will include a casual 4-course dinner with wine ($80) with a menu full of recipes out of Florentine, I’ll chat a little about the book with Barbara Sweeney of Food & Words, and there’s a chance to purchase the book with your ticket too. Phone bookings can be made via the restaurant. Online bookings for this event can be made here!
Saturday, March 19 – Cooking and photography workshop with the incredible Luisa Brimble at picturesque Glenmore House.
This is going to be such an amazing day! I’ll be cooking and styling some favourite recipes out of Florentine, while Luisa will be guiding participants through the photography component of the workshop. Then we all get to sit down and eat together with a fabulous lunch by Mickey from Glenmore House and there’s also plenty of time for some Q&A. A copy of the cookbook (RRP $49.95) is included in the ticket price ($250). Bookings for this workshop can be made here.
Saturday, March 12 – Book signing and nibbles at Essential Ingredient in Kingston.
Join me for a little recipe demonstration, some wine, cheese and nibbles and a chat about Florentine. The wonderful John Marshall of Frugii Dessert Laboratory has also made some gelato flavours inspired by recipes from the cookbook and those will be available for tastings on the day too at Essential Ingredient as well as in his Braddon shop! It costs $20 to register but during this book signing, you can use this as credit when you purchase the cookbook (so you pay only $29.95 instead of $49.95) — essentially it’s a free event! And you get 10% off everything in the store during the event too. Book via phone or in store. Contact details here.
Please also see my events page for more details and links. I will be posting events coming up in Florence, the UK and possibly the USA there too!