14 May 2012


i've been to florence a few times before and on this visit my main priority was to buy natural pigments. also high on the list of priorities was sampling ice cream and buying gorgeous italian food. i absolutely love italian food! anchovies, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh pasta and pesto, parmesan, aged balsamic vinegar and basil are some of my favourite things ever. oh, and fragolino! 

when i was 18 i went to work in rome as an au pair for the summer (because i loved italian food).  I chose 'au pairs italy' who specialised in finding au pairs for the landed gentry and aristocracy of italy. my thinking at the time was that rich people would have good food! as promised my host family were incredibly wealthy and well connected. the grandfather was the president of lazio. i wasn't expecting them to have their own top class resident chef but then neither did i anticipate being thrown into the whirlwind of such a disfunctional family. but the daily fresh pasta and other gastronomic wonders that pepe rustled up went along way to counterbalance the chaos.  many of  his creations are still heavily impressed on my mind as are some of the best wines i've ever tasted.  

here we have st francesco donizfilio posing for the camera

and here is giovanni.....

......and this is ernest. he's on holiday and loving the sun.

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