Italy Culinary Tours: Chef Interview with Anna Maria

November 17, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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We are very excited about one of The International Kitchen’s newest itineraries in Italy! The Abruzzo region is known for its diverse landscape (from mountains to seaside) and its wonderful gastronomy; our latest addition in Abruzzo is based in the charming town of Vasto, which lies on the Adriatic Coast.

To continue our series of Chef interviews, today we’re talking to Anna Maria, mother to your host Fabrizio and your guide into the wonderful world of Abruzzese cuisine!

Mamma Anna Maria in VastoWhat is your first memory of cooking?
I was less than 10 year old, and I started to make homemade pasta with my grandmother Grazia, on a Sunday morning after I came back from the church for the Sunday service.

What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with? Least favorite?
Most favorite: homemade grape jam made by me to make a special cookie (Tarallucci Olio e Vino) and “passata” that I make every year with my husband. [TIK note: “passata” is the homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes that families in Italy make during the summer harvest to use the rest of the year.]

Mamma Anna Maria making passata
What’s your favorite dish?
Most favorite: scrippelle [a fried potato fritter] at Christmas time. And Tarallucci Olio e Vino.

What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?

Why do you like teaching cooking classes?
Because while I’m cooking I can share the stories and traditions of my family and land.

What’s unique about the food from your region?

Arrosticini sheep kebaps, Pasta alla chitarra, and fish soup “alla vastese” [Vasto-style] that my 4 sons love.

Mamma Anna Maria
Ready to cook with Mamma Anna Maria? Our 6-night itinerary starts at US$2150 and includes upgraded 4* accommodations in boutique hotels or historical residences, cooking classes, transfers from Rome, and amazing gastronomic excursions such as to a local “trabocco” fishing hut, a truffle hunter, a cheese maker, and more! (Please note pricing subject to change until under deposit.) Ready to learn more? Give us a call at 312-467-0560.

By Peg Kern

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