Masterchef Contestant 2017 connecting with Il Papiro
IN HER OWN WORDS
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am so grateful for my Italian background as I feel that I’m part of history or at least my family history. As a girl I used to listen to my parent’s stories about the war when they were young and how it affected their little home town, how their families would have their own vegetable garden, how they created deliciousness for every special occasion including the weekly pasta and sugo. All of this confirmed my love for family and food!
What inspires your Italian Connection?
I used to walk through our vegetable garden with dad and he would explain what he was planting next, show me little buds that were about to bloom and let me smell the gorgeous aromas of his herbs. I would definitely say this was the start of my love of food and wanting to keep traditions alive. My favourite memory as a little girl was sitting on the kitchen step watching my mum make pasta or gnocchi and stealing some off the table before they were even cooked! Watching how easy and effortlessly she would combine all ingredients then roll out and produce her pasta creations, knowing she would have watched and learnt from her own mother also.
what is your favOURITE ITALIAN MOMENT OR PLACE?
My first trip to Italy was when I was 20 years old and didn’t know what to expect, all I knew was the Australian way of life with our own piece of Italy at home. The stories my parents shared came to life in their hometowns as well as food we shared with family. With every trip to Italy I could feel the change in me and didn’t want to lose the history and especially the food as family sat around the table together, such treasured moments.
your first Il Papiro memory?
On each overseas trip I would write in my travel journal and on my first trip to Florence I found a little ‘Il Papiro’ shop and fell in love with their beautiful paper, books and journals. I love reading my journals a year after my trips to reminisce and relive moments.
your favourite Il Papiro Product?
I have many journals from Il Papiro, some in varied coloured peacock marble but my favourite at the moment being their soft leather journal with leather tie.
"...on my first trip to Florence I found a little ‘Il Papiro’ shop and fell in love..."
Share Something you love
On my last trip I had planned it to be our own family food tour. In my journal I had written down places we had visited, eaten, food inspirations and ideas as well as recipes. One favourite I had to recreate when I returned was the Torta Tenerina, an Italian classic originally from Ferrara in Emilia-Romagna region, Italy. This cake has a gorgeous crisp, macaron-style outer layer. The centre is a luscious, dense but an incredibly moist chocolate cake. This recipe will definitely be shared in my next cookbook. You can follow my foodie journey on my website www.piagava.com.au, my first cookbook ‘Pia’s table’ or via my social media accounts @piagavacooks (Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) Although I could share hundreds of photos from my Italy trips, here are a few of my favourites!