Many summers of my youth were spent in this small charming Tuscan Island. Isola d’Elba was something me and my younger brother always waited all year around to come back to; its many beaches and fishing spots, our summer friends, the hikes up the mountains foraging for mushrooms… We have accumulated about two decades of wonderful memories while vacationing in one of Elba’s main towns Marciana Marina. I also had my very first shot of “Cordiale” after being rescued by the Navy during a massive storm we got caught out at sea in my father’s boat… but that’s another story.
Now, many years later, I find myself living and cooking in Brooklyn, far far away from my childhood safe Heavens. I have been using food and stories to maintain my connection to the land I love and I long for, and now each ingredient I use has its own way to bring me back home! Imagine how stoked I felt a couple of years ago, to learn that one of my neighbors is actually from my beloved Marciana Marina and grew up “in the business”; his family in fact own and operates the oldest bread oven on the Island.
Riccardo Mazzei is a true Super Tuscan like me, he is a great cook and a fantastic artist, our kids went to the same school around the block; it did not take long for us to become good friends. I invited him to join my motley crew at The Tuscan Gun to strengthen our relationship, spend time cooking together and because I desperately needed somebody to keep me company while cursing in Tuscan. For some time now we have been cooking shoulder to shoulder during regular operating hours and for most of our monthly evening events… but always my menu. I am from the inland, I think Wild Boar before Octopus, I dream of Pork Ribs more than fresh caught Tuna. Riccardo has cornered me with his stories, he now has me drool over his recipes and ideas on a daily basis, and I cannot take it anymore!
It is time for a fish menu. It is time for us to develop and cook a menu together.
We are both very excited to announce our January “Isola d’ Elba” dinner events! Join us for three evenings of stories and flavors from one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea.