Freelance Food Writer connecting with Il Papiro
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a freelance writer from Melbourne. My first career was in hospitality, after university I moved to London and spent several years managing a fine dining restaurant in Soho, London. I have fond memories of my time in London, I learnt so much about food, and people in my time there. Everything in Europe is close by, it's quite easy to jump on a plane and be in a different country in a few hours. Travelling and being able to explore food and culture is where I get the most inspiration for my writing and cooking. After many years living, working and travelling overseas I moved back to Melbourne. A career change meant I moved from hospitality into freelance food writing and a great job at a digital agency. I've always found a way to work with food, whether it's working in a restaurant, recipe development, or food styling and photography which I've been doing more of in recent times. After so many years working in restaurants, I really enjoy eating out, but I truly love eating at home the most, whether my home or the homes of friends and family (when not in lockdown of course). The food I most enjoy to eat and cook is good-quality, thoughtfully prepared and seasonal, though much more relaxed and homestyle these days. My food blog Cosy Cucina, Cucina being the Italian word for kitchen, is a place where I share the food I love to cook and eat at home, inspired by my own food story. I really believe that food makes us feel deeply connected to our memories and the people we love, it gives us comfort, nourishment and helps us create a food identity. I started Cosy Cucina throughout lockdown as a creative outlet, it's been wonderful to share my passion for food, cooking and writing with people. When i'm not writing or cooking, I'm likely reading. I have an ever growing book collection, which I've added to quite a bit in recent months.
What inspires your Italian Connection?
I’m half Italian myself, my mother is Italian and moved from Calabria to Melbourne with her family when she was young. I've been very lucky in that despite growing in a small suburb of Melbourne which is so far from Italy, I was surrounded by Italian food and culture from a young age which has definitely inspired my Italian connection. In many ways it's no surprise I ended up working in restaurants, and now writing about food.
what is your favOURITE ITALIAN MOMENT OR PLACE?
I’ve travelled to Italy many times, when I lived in London I'd travel across whenever I could to explore new cities and regions, particularly for the local food and wine. One of the visits I enjoyed most was a long stay in a Tuscan Villa in the Chianti Hills almost ten years ago, the romance and beauty of Tuscany have always stayed with me since that trip and I’m desperate to go back again when possible.
your first Il Papiro memory?
My first Il Papiro memory is of visiting the Melbourne store, I remember being blown away by the feeling of the store and the craftsmanship of the products which were really different from anything I'd seen before. It was like stepping into another time and place, which was magical for me seeing as I’d never travelled outside of Australia at the time. The first thing I bought was a recipe journal, I took it with me on my travels and collected recipes from all over the place. I really like that the journal has sections for antipasti, primi, carne, pesce, contorni, dolci and varie recipes, it helps to keep me organised. I find that having beautiful stationery like this makes recipe journaling such an enjoyable experience, you end up with your own cookbook of handwritten recipes capturing the joy of cooking to feed family, friends and yourself.
your favourite Il Papiro Product?
There are too many to choose just one favourite, this is such a difficult question to answer it's like choosing a favourite pasta - impossible. Of all the products I have, my favourites include the recipe journals bound in hand-marbled paper, the monogrammed stationery and my new favourite the leather-bound journals. I also have a special wax seal and a photo album that were gifts for my wedding which I treasure. The recipe journals are so special, I've filled several of them over the years with my favourite recipes from the menus of the restaurant I managed. Also my most treasured family recipes, recipes i've collected from dear friends, or dishes i've discovered through travelling. Over on my blog Cosy Cucina, I've written a guide to creating an heirloom family recipe collection. It’s such a magical endeavour to undertake, creating a family heirloom for yourself and future generations, whilst developing new connections through cooking with the people you love. Read all about my experience: Cosy Cunina In Collaboration with Il Papiro
Share Something you love
I love food - cooking, baking, talking about food, writing about food, reading about it, food in all formats. Over the lockdown, I thought it would be fun to put together a collection of cake recipes in an eBook. Something I've missed very much is seeing family and friends, most weekends pre-lockdown I'd usually have something sweet on the go for a gathering. I've missed sharing meals and slices of homemade cakes with people so much, I'm sure that I'm not alone in feeling this way. I’ve been collaborating with a designer to create an eBook which will be released later in the year. The eBook will feature a small selection of cake recipes made with fruits, my preference for cake is always one that features seasonal fruits with anything from blood plums and pears, to apricots or peaches. I’ve also reached out to a handful of chefs, bakers, cooks and foodies who I know for some expert baking advice. One of the best things about a cookbook, aside from the recipes, is the tips and tricks you pick up from the authors, so I thought I'd try to do something similar, but on a much smaller scale. I’ve shared one of my all-time favourite cakes below which is included in the eBook, a simple and delicious whole orange and almond cake finished with lightly toasted almonds and a generous dusting of icing sugar. It seems to be able to convert even those people who claim not to enjoy cake (in my opinion they just haven't found the right cake yet).
"Of all the products I have, my favourites include the recipe journals bound in hand-marbled paper..."