Something about myself…

I was born and raised in Fiesole, a small town village on the hills right above Florence…in the heart of Tuscany. Since I can remember, it has always been about food!

My great grandma, my grandma, and in the following years my mother…of all the sweet things that one can remember of his early youth, well…the kitchen table and the dining room, and everything that can happen when you let those women alone in front of a stove. Needless to say…I can cook! Like most of Italian men, I lived with my parents long enough to learn a few tricks in the kitchen….

I remember being around 6 years old, on Sunday morning…waking up and using the food processor to prepare my infant brother’s first bottle of the day…my parents still asleep…I would bake a cake, make coffee, and bring everything in their bedroom…I guess around 10 a.m. or so…. talk about four stars treatment…. well, one day I started “pricing” those cakes…. and that became my weekly allowance. No parent can say no to a little kid with a cake and a flower…even if they have to pay 5 or 10 bucks right after breakfast… I always enjoyed cooking…it is a true freedom to be able to feed yourself with the food you like…being able to prepare it on your own…and it has great success with women…(sorry if it sounds like a statement…)…

A little bit stereothipical…Italian, food, wine, women… Right, women…

About seven years ago I was working in Florence with a group of international musicians…and a woman came around, Deb…She was on vacation in Europe, and she was invited to spend some time in the beautiful home that served us as a studio, in the center of the city…Piazza Santo Spirito….Next thing you know during one of our dinners in between recording sessions me and Deb decided to go buy cigarettes (another very Italian thing)…we ended up sitting on the stoup of the church for three ours, never getting back into the house…. (I guess the other guests figured out what was going on even before me and Deb did)…

Long story short, as this is trying to be a cookbook and not a love diary…

We joked about having a kid together after we spent three hours talking…when we got back into the house dinner was over…we acted like nothing happened…but that night…when I left to go back home, we first kissed…and I have the butterflies all around since… We spent a month together, and when it was time for her to leave she just asked: “why don’t you give it a shot and come to Los Angeles?” …. It still makes me smile when I think about it….I just packed my small apartment in my grandma’s villa, shipped all my music instruments, books and CDs to Hollywood, and that was it…

It was the 28th of August 2001…. easy to remember… Deb and me had two weeks of paradise, before being woken up a morning, around 5:30 am… by a phone call…September 11th was happening in NY.

We did not loose friends or family, but we knew people directly involved…it has been hard…that was my welcome to United States…

And also the moment that we probably realized how lucky we were to have met each other…and she got pregnant…

I was not working, did not have anything other that a tourist visa and no clue whatsoever about this huge town…Deb on the other side was working like crazy… So I became Mom…in the sense of stepping up…trashing all the tofu, protein powders, tasteless shit that was all around…. and took possession of the kitchen!!! The same happened with the garden, but again, I’m a country boy, and taking care of plants and flowers comes with the package…. before coming to California I did not even know that a landscaping was a job…I grew up surrounded by olive trees and vineyards…it’s the landscape that designs itself…. no need to spend tons of money to make sure you got a few yards of grass on the back of your house…

I got into the kitchen, as I was saying about four seven years ago…. and now I’m stuck!!!! She realized how good she got, and there is no way that she’ll let me quit cooking!!!!  Now I have my green card, I’m working playing and producing the music that I like…but when the sun goes down, or the baby is hungry…or when my wife is hungry…. well, only one word is yelled in the house…BABBOOOOO…(which means dad in Tuscan dialect).

My first daughter Evelina is now five years old and the youngest, Giulia, is almost two…they enjoy my food as much as their mom did when she was pregnant….