The Life Of a Chef :: Giorgia Grillo – Rome, Italy

Appetibilis Q&A
:: Work and life stories, while sitting around a table with friends ::

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Chef Giorgia Grillo in her workshop prepping mini Rum Baba | Photo ©LuciaZeccara

Meet Chef Giorgia Grillo, my “Gambero Rosso Schools” classmate.
Owner of “Nero Vaniglia”, a lovely Cafè-Pastry-Shop in Garbatella, a charming roman area a little off-the-beaten-track, yet…
The Life Of a Chef :: Giorgia Grillo – Rome, Italy

Deliciously Abruzzo @ La Grande Quercia

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Cooking tools @ La Grande Quercia | photo: ©Lonza65

At La Grande Quercia, dishes follow season cycle, so menus change according to the produce available. Don’t forget to ask for their signature lamb dish, “agnello incaporchiato” [anyello incaporkiato]. It requires a few ingredients: a leg of lamb, extra-virgin olive oil, white wine, rosemary, a couple of cloves of garlic.

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Prepping “agnello incaporchiato” @ La Grande Quercia | photo: ©Lonza65

This recipe comes from the old days when people did not have meat very often, so when there was the chance to cook it, they used to put another pot on top (incaporchiato), so that the smell could not go out and tell the neighbours that something good was on the stove. At La Grande Quercia a heavy lid is used instead, and the stewing is perfect.

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Deliciously Abruzzo :: Mamma Maria @ La Grande Quercia | photo: ©Lonza65

The true secret is mamma Maria’s cooking mastery – and the weight of the stones…

Read more about La Grande Quercia :: Harvesting time and family recipes

Italian Flavours :: In Vino… Venea

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Venea, a family story of wine and “spirito abruzzese”| photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

The English Idiom “good things come in small packages” translates the Italian “nella botte piccola c’è il vino buono” (small casks carry top-quality wine). If this holds true for “things” in general, it should be truer for wineries.

Venea is a 25-acre winery on the hilly backcountry around Fossacesia (Chieti). The name recalls a former Roman temple dedicated to Venus Conciliatrix (“the peace maker”), on whose ruins the Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere was built in the IX century A.D.

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Paolucci’s family | photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

This is just one instance of how Paolucci family is strongly and firmly tied to this stretch of land, caught between the sea and the Maiella massif. Nicolino, Serena, Michele and Elena are the kings and queens of this tiny kingdom, a treasure chest where you can find excellent wine and extra-virgin olive oil.

Nicolino Paolucci spent some years in the local cooperative winery and then he realized it was high time to run his own wine business. He and his wife Serena merged the lands both families owned since four generations ahead and started their own “cantina”.

However, with such a rich and important background, one should not think that Venea is tied to bygone days. Their approach to wine-making is updated to the new trend, e.g. it is respectful of the environment through the implementation of the integrated pest management. Even the choice of the name for their rosé wine comes from the title of the one of the most popular Italian rocker’s songs – Vasco Rossi’s Albachiara. But again their roots come up again with a tribute to a local noblewoman, who gives her name to Venea’s Trebbiano and Chardonnay white wine – Spinalba.

Venea’s style mixes old and modern references but keeps its focus on the land. Venea’s estate is included in the upcoming Parco della Costa dei Trabocchi (Trabocchi Coast Park), whose aim is to protect this unique area from unauthorised building development and other land violations. The Trabocchi Coast Park setup could be another asset for the Paolucci, whose love and respect for their land is the leading inspiration for their activity.

Contact: Nicolino Paolucci
Telephone & fax: +39 0872 60303
email: info@venea.it
Azienda Agricola Venea – Via Piano Madonna – 66022 Fossacesia (Chieti)

Enviromental Theatre and the Festival of the Gnomes

A festival designed for children, a party to celebrate nature and the forest and all its inhabitants – fairies, elves, fauns, jesters, trolls, giants… Read more: International Festival of the Gnomes… via festadeglignomi.it

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Once upon a time there was the Festival of the Gnomes… | photo: © Matelda Codagnone

“It is frightfully difficult to know much about the fairies, and almost the only thing for certain is that there are fairies wherever there are children.” ~J.M. Barrie

La festa degli gnomi è molto particolare, piena di colori e giochi, un bel modo di far trascorrere a ragazzi di tutte le età del tempo nel verde e nel rispetto dell’ambiente. Il festival si svolge tra Pescocostanzo, Roccaraso e Rivisondoli in località meravigliose come il Bosco di Sant’Antonio uno dei luoghi più belli dove poter incontrare fate, elfi, fauni, giullari, troll, giganti…