Buon Giorno friends and family!

Welcome to "Blogging from the Boot", Where you can read all about my adventures spent in Italy. I will be attending the International Culinary Institute for Foreigners in beautiful Costigliole d'Asti. Along the way I will be cooking, eating, learning, and all around submerging myself in the rich and delicious culture of Italy. Mangia Mangia!

International Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Costigliole d'Asti

Sunday, June 20, 2010

rainy sunday

hi everyone

Not too much exciting going on here in Portoscuso. It's rainy so that means no beach :( But I am helping Laura with the rooms since there are 4 people staying in the hotel for a couple of days. Anyway, thought I would post something because I haven't in awhile.

Going to bake a cake for Sabrina's birthday coming up on Thursday. I was thinking chocolate layer cake with white chocolate mousse filling and cream cheese frosting. Any other suggestions??? Ciao for now!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

4 words

4 words....

Are you kidding me???


I'm never eating again

I guess that makes 8.

Monday, June 14, 2010

day off

Yesterday we had a day off and I spent it with the other cook at La Ghinghetta, Sabrina, and her family and friends.

We went to the beach at 10 am and stayed until 5 pm! We had a leisurely lunch and then layed on the beach a little bit more (Don't worry, I am wearing sunscreen!) And then They picked me back up at around 8 to walk around the Girotonno fair that is now in Portoscuso this weekend. It is similar to the one in Carloforte but is a little more "rustic". We ate fantastic fair food and I really got a chance to practice my Italian all day long. There was, however a few awkward silences in the mix, but oh well.

I worked this morning/afternoon and got off around 4. Tried to go to the beach but only spent about 20 minutes as it was really really windy. So, until then I might just take a nap, read a book or something. Ciao everyone!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

First week of stage!

Ciao Tutti!

I have officially been working now for 5 days at the restaurant. I feel like I am helping out a lot here. The beach is beautiful and I feel really happy/peaceful here if not a little lonely.

Tomorrow morning I am going to wake up and go to the little cafe that is right by the hotel for my morning ritual of an espresso and marmalade croissant. Then I will probably lay out at the beach for awhile and come back and cook lunch for me and the front desk clerk, Laura.

Today, Laura gets a phone call from the owner's son and Chef of La Ghinghetta, Luca. He was very concerned that I wasn't eating enough!! I had to assure him that yes, I cook lunch everyday and am getting more than enough to eat ;) It is nice to know that even here in Sardinia and despite the language barriers there are still good people out there. I feel very taken care of here and am happy to do as much as I can to help out. Laura is my first friend here, she speaks perfect English, as well as Italian, French, German, and Arabic!!! She helps me with my Italian by printing out practice sheets for me to study and I return the favour by helping her with cleaning rooms, dusting windows, setting up the dining room or whatever. One of the highlights of my day is also cooking lunch for us and sitting down to chat about various things.

Anyway, that is about it here in Sardinia. I miss you all and will post again soon. Ciao!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

funny story

It might not translate on the web but here goes anyway.....

We were sitting down for family meal tonight, me, the chef and the other cook Sabrina. We had something that resembled the innards of an animal, which one I am not entirely sure. Boar maybe?? Who knows, but I have never seen such a spiny, mushy, intertwined peice of meat in my life.

Now here's the thing, Offal doesn't gross me out. I am down to try anything at least once and I dove right in. The first couple of bites were fantastic, if you are into eating a tepid mound of mystery meat. I obviously didn't want to offend anyone so I stuffed my mouth with bread and took a sip of water after every bite, silently cheering myself on to the last bite. Then, it happens.

A pesky fly decided the land RIGHT in the MIDDLE of my plate for all to see. The chef promptly tells me to dispose of my plate (which was almost effing finished!) and heaps another bounty helping onto a new plate. Boun Appetito!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1st day os stage and Girotonno!

Tropo Tropo Tropo Tuna

(Too too much)

I have been eating tuna now for four days straight. Some great dishes, some not so great dishes...but Dominick and I came in 1st runner up in the competition right behind Italy so all that tuna was worth it.

It was such a great experience to be able to compete in the Girotonno competition, I was able to meet some important people and I feel like it will be great experience in my career to come. I am obviously very ecstatic for our team to be recognized as 1st runner up as well.

So, the competition concluded, my Dad had to go back home (sad face) and now I am here all alone in a tiny Sardinian hotel laying out on the beach during the day and promptly changing into my whites for night time service. Never in my life would I think that I would be interning at a restaurant where the cooks would be going insane over 16 covers. It was all pianno pianno (slowly slowly) last night for service as we precisely cut the chives and garnished dishes for a dining room of (gasp) 3 people.

It is just a different type of lifestyle here though, were standing around is actually better than frantically trying to get food out or pushing dishes through the dishwasher. I am going to have to get used to this "Pianno" life.

So, I asked what time to be at work tomorrow and they said 5 with a shoulder shrug. I pack up my knives and they tell me 7 am. ok sounds good. nevermind 8, well maybe 9, no how about 10.

I go to the cafe this morning for a cappuchino and show up at 9:30 in the kitchen in my whites, I figure a happy medium. They laugh c'e catso?? and I come back to 5 pm.

Welcome home, where the weather is beautiful, the food is bounissimo and the beaches are pristine but where I never know what the hell is going on.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

last day of school and night in Turin!

Ciao Tutti!

As you may know Friday was the last day of school and our final exams. We cooked for 5 chefs this time and I had the main course. It went really well and they all seemed to really like it. I got to cook for one of the judges that will be hosting the Girotonno event so that was really cool.

I am starting to pack all of my stuff and it is def. a little bittersweet. I still can't beileve I will be heading out in just a couple of days. The remaining people from cascina and I went out to an outdoor nightclub last night called Cacoa. It was really fun, I have never seen that many people in one place in my entire life! I'm glad I got to spend one more night with everyone until we all head our seperate ways. So far I have gotten an invitation to come stay with friends in Peru and Chile. I hope one day I can take them up on that offer!

As for tonight, we will be grilling a little bit and just hanging out. I'm glad that I have a couple of days to relax before I start working again. Buon Giornato and Ciao!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's getting down to the wire now...

Wow...only two more days left of school

Tomorrow is our big written exam that covers all facets of class, wine, Italian, culinary terms, names of dishes etc...I am kinda nervous but I always am before big tests.

I am looking forward to my practical exam though. I am preparing filetto di manzo con barbaresco e funghi...which basically translates into filet mignon with a red wine and porcini mushroom reduction. I should do well considering I have frequently made a similar dish for friends. (Although my friends aren't Michelin star chefs...bo)

Tomorrow night 8 of us are going to an Agriturismo for dinner and wine. I am really looking forward to an experience like this. The farm/winery is located on rolling hills and produces Bardera and Barbaresco. The owners basically prepare what is on their farm, with ingredients that are grown from their property. All of the chefs and professors (ironically) will be there tomorrow night as well. I have a feeling we will feel like we are sitting at the little kid's table at Thanksgiving...(but probably having a lot more fun.)

Again, it will be a bittersweet time as I am sad to leave such a beautiful place. But all good things come to an end and I need to keep in mind that I will be learning new and exciting things in about a week. I can't wait to cook at a Catalan Italian restaurant and yet again learn a new dialect. Well ciao for now! More pictures are soon to come!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our view from the balcony in Riomaggiore

the sea and cliffs

Cinque Terre was amazingly beautiful!!!

We stayed in Riomaggiore which is one of the 5 terres in Cinque (5) Terre. It is located off the Ligurian coast and overlooks the Mediterranean sea. It was perfect weather for walking the trails and hanging out on the beach. It is really beautiful there with the houses perched atop the mountains and the sea underneath. The water was as clear as can be and our little house was just perfect for the 4 of us.

We got into Riomaggiore around 10:30 on Friday night. As soon as we got there we were met by Nonna and Grandpa (I don't remember their names I wish I did!) The two of them walked us to our place while explaining to Rocio in Italian about the town and the area. They were the quintessential Italian grandparents! We found out later that the flat we were staying in was the same house as the grandfather grew up in.

After we put our bags down and changed, we decided to get some food and drink as our journey to the beach took a mere 6 and a half hours. So, we changed and got ready and walked 20 meters outside of the apartment to a charming little restaurant right on the fishing dock. We sat al fresco enjoying the views (of the water as well as the tall, tan "model/actor" who was actually a bus driver, but more on that later..) And started to order.

The cook was outside with a cigarette and a beer, and the waiter seemed preoccupied..."Sorry, the kitchen is about to close...but you can order something fried" Well okay I guess, fried what? Was all that we were wondering, I stopped the cook and asked him if he could whip up something fast as I knew he was anxious to get out. 5 minutes later comes a platter of beautiful whole pan-fried fish of all different sorts..anchovies, calamari, snapper, octopus, cuttlefish and a couple bigger fish that I couldn't identify. They were crunchy salty perfect morsels of the freshest fish that were caught right off the dock we were sitting on. It turned out to be an excellent choice as the regional specialty turned out to be Pesce Mista, which is just a bunch of different types of fried fish. To top it off was a bottle of white that was out of this world and produced only a couple of kilometers away.

So, the four of us were in food heaven, when we were interrupted with shots of some sort of dark rum?? and pear juice from the next table over. It looked like they were celebrating something, and the chef was there hanging out with them who told us that the shot-giver was some sort of model/actor named Christiano who was actually a bus driver by day. (Pretty funny we all thought) So, we oblidged and ordered a second bottle of wine. It was around midnight and the cook came out, we thanked him for the wonderful meal and we all got on the subject about how we too, were cooks. He ended up being very nice and sat down with us to share a glass.

Not too far over we hear some other American accents, a girl and a guy around our age were sitting a couple of tables over and they too eventually joined us for drinks. The guy was from Boston and the girl from Louisiana who had just met that day and were travelling to Corsica the following day. Turns out that she was in the same sorority as Jessie and they did the seceret handshake and everything...funny how things in this world shake out.

Anyway, this weekend was filled with sunshine, good food and even better memories. I gotta say that I have made some pretty damn good friends here in Italy and that it has been an experience that will last a lifetime. Now it's time to move on and start another stage of my life. One more busy week and then it's packing and hauling stuff to another place, one thing I will be sure not to leave behind are the memories I have shared here. A good friend once told me (Rodrigo, about a week ago) "If you want to come back to a place, just leave your shoes" Well, that wont be too hard since I have worn out three pairs.

Sardegna here I come!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cinque Terre

I will be in the Cinque Terre this weekend in Liguria with my roomates!

"Unfourtunatly" this means I will not be taking along my computer (nice relaxing weekend)

Anyway, I miss everyone, can't beileve it is the last weekend of school. So excited to see you Dad...and Mom, I wish you were coming but it's ok another time!!! Love you all and Ciao until Sunday!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

La Ghinghetta

Ciao Everyone!!!

I have GREAT news to all of my readers.

After the Girotonno event I will now be calling Sardegna my home for the next four months.

The restaurant is called La Ghinghetta. It is a 1 star Michelin restaurant and hotel consisting of 8 bedrooms and a 25 seat restaurant. It is family-owned and operated. I am very excited to be starting and have only heard and read excellent things about it. Not to mention it was my first choice place! I hope everything runs smoothly.

I need to start thinking about packing my room up, after all it is only about 2 weeks until I will be leaving Costigliole for good. (I wonder if I will ever be back here?) My friend Ori drove me into Asti today, I picked up two jackets for the competition and later we all had a burger (who knew?) at this little bar right by ICIF. I am really going to miss this place, but before all of the emotional stuff, the girls and I are going to Cinque Terre this weekend for a relaxing time. Can't wait to drink some wine, eat some great food and just all around relax with my 3 favorite people from school. Anyway, that's it for now. Goodnight!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Ciao Tutti!

Internet has been on and off for the last week so I apologize for not getting back to my friends and family!!!

So, this past week has been so BUSY. I feel like I haven't had time to come up for air. It was Rocio's 25th birthday bash last night at club Cascina (aka the breakfast room) we had tons of food and set up the grill with all kinds of meat and sausage. The two huge cheesecakes that Jesse and I stayed after class to make for the last couple of days tasted great and where a huge hit.

As most or all of you know, (because I only have about 4 readers) I got invited to participate in a culinary competition in Sardinia. It is held in a very small port called San Pietro and it is where they catch a lot of the Red Fin Tuna that is found within southern Italy. I am very nervous/excitied and am happy that I was recognized as a competitor for the event. Me and the other chef, Dominick (from NYC) will be flown down to Sardinia to compete and have our dish tasted and critiqued by chefs from all over Italy. I am still a little unsure of how we will comprise our dish, but I have no doubt in my mind that the final product will be great.

As for my restaurant stage, I don't know what region or even what restaurant I want to go to. There is a place in Bergamo that is a two star Michilen called Da Vittorio. That is a possibility, or I may just go to Eliza (who coordinates the internships) and tell her that it doesn't matter where I go as long as I have a chef that is willing to teach me (it also wouldn't hurt if they knew a little bit of English, as I haven't been "practicing" very much with all the English speaking people around.) Anyway, that is about it, I have another dessert for the test on Monday morning, a Chocolate Torte with poached pears and hazelnut crust. Ciaoo e Bouna Notte!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Night is Asti

Hi All!!!

Today it is beautiful in Costigliole, I started my day at the market to get some fresh bread, cheese and vegtables for dinner later tonight.

Last night Jesse and I went to Asti to have a relaxing night in town. We walked around a bit and then decided to get some food and a bottle of wine at a little restaurant called Francese. It was SO good. We had a little mixed antipasti plate of the house specials. Then we had a pizza with olives, proscuitto and mushrooms on it. Then we did the most random thing ever and came across this huge fair going on. It was packed with the most Euro teenagers I have ever seen and the rides were huge and janky looking but were so much fun. We went on the ferris wheel and then on this huge sombrero looking ride that spun you in circles. After that one we were thinking that splitting a bottle of wine at dinner might not have been the best idea. But oh well, we went on like 3 or 4 more rides with the last being a huge swinging monster that spins you over and over again and I swear it lasted 10 minutes. It was one of the best nights I have had in Italy so far! Anyway, Happy Mother's day Mom! Miss you and everyone!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Michelin Chefs!

Ciao Tutti!

Today I cooked for two Michelin star chefs! It was for the second test out of five. I made a layered monkfish starter with anchovies and green olive in between the layers. I also made a cipollini salad with sunflower sprout and balsamic with an orange scented balsamic reduction. I was really happy with me plate! It looked exactly the way I had imagined it and everything tasted good to boot. The only things I understood from the judges were "bellisimo" and "bravo" and they ate every bite, so I am assuming they thought it was edible. Anyway, we will see what the scores are tomorrow. Everyone is such a great cook at school, It is making me feel energized and creative when I get into the kitchen. I can't wait to start working again, I just need to find a place where I think I can grow as a chef the most. Anyway, I must get back to enjoying my glass of Barbera d'Asti. Ciao!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

back in Italy...and happy that I am "home"

Hi everyone!

We all got in from the Bergamo airport late last night....picked up the rental car and spent another three hours travelling home to Costigliole. It was quite a trip. We had some of the worst and best food I have ever eaten. I gotta say, being a tourist can be worth it but then there are other times where you either feel robbed of time and/or money. The dinner we had on Saturday night was one of these experiences....I can easily say it was the worst food. ever. But while the 6 of us were all sitting around the table, Americans, Russians, Peruvians, all walks of life was one of the best times I have had.

We started off our trip at a Paella place on the water. The food was really good and the paella pan could fit a small car inside of it, not to mention the copius amounts of tapas and sangria we ingested before hand. Dinner started at 11:30 pm and didn't end until 1 am, just when people were starting to go out for the evening. We attempted to go to some bars but in the end all decided to turn in for the night and rest for all of the museums/walking we would be doing the next day. We visited the Sagrada Familia, which is the behemouth curch Gaudi started building in 1882, and which is supposed to be finished by 2025. It was one of the most spectacular sites I have ever seen. We then walked up to the three crosses, which is a park Gaudi designed at the top of a large hill over looking all of Barcelona and the sea, his house is also located here.

By Sunday we were all pretty exhausted, and nerves were running high. I think I will spend this week catching up on my sleep and studying, we have another exam tomorrow morning so wish me luck! Ciao everyone!

Friday, April 30, 2010

half day

Hi All

Leaving at lunch for Barcelona, Can't WAITTT to see Gaudi's house and the church he never stopped building. I honestly thought I would never be able to experience/learn as much as I have in these last couple of weeks. I am a lucky person. I miss all of my family and friends very much though. Just know that I am always thinking of you guys! Love you and I will catch up on my blog on Tuesday! Ciao Tutti!!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


SO excited to be in Barcelona in less than 24 hours. I already have my bag packed and ready to go after lunch on Friday.

Yesterday was great. We went to a risotto factory and saw all aspects of how the rice is grown, produced, packaged, etc...(the factory itself was kinda boring, and REALLLY loud.) We were all cranky and hungry by 2 oclock and could not wait for lunch. Little did we know we were being taken to a little trattoria outside of Milan that had the best risotto on the planet. We were served about 8 courses, starting with a charcuterie platter of different cotto and crudo meats, then a slice of cured beef topped with a mixture of mayo and tuna (very common in this region) and roasted peppers with bagna couda. This was all accompainied by a sparkling off dry white from Asti. Next, we were served the first risotto, a red bean and lardo risotto with beans from the chef's garden, they tasted a lot like kidney beans but where paler in color and a little smaller. After, we were served a fontina and grana podano risotto with fresh zuchinni, zuchinni flowers, and cherry tomatoes. (YUM) This was all accompanied by a rosso frizante that is perfect for lunch, not too dry and not too sweet, with the bubbles getting you ready for the next bite. After both of those I was thinking it was time to sleep, but NOOO, we then had a roulade of veal stuffed with spinich, a slab of roast beef with french fries (really random, maybe they were worried us stupid Americans had no palate? I'm not too sure) But they were hand cut and fried to perfection none the less, after all of this, the freshest tasting vanilla gelato with fruit and a much needed espresso.

I guess the rice factory didn't suck too bad afterall.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Torino, rainy day, first test

Hi everyone!!

I will start by saying this weekend was one of the best ever! Turin was amazing, beautiful and with great nightlife. The food was amazing...four courses of apertivs, 3 different types of fresh pasta, artichokes with parmesean, wine for everyone, espressos (at 11 pm), and after dinner bitters.

I am loving the Italian way of life. It is so much than the US.

Last night there was a huge storm, the thunder rattled Cacsina Solaria and the rain was coming down in sheets, now it is just a wet morning, with a half mile walk to do daily it isn't a good start to the day. Good thing the rain is washing away all the pollen that I am allergic too though, this stuff is white and pillow-y and looks like snow. It falls off the trees like snow too! It is everywhere.

Last night was our first test, we were graded on our dish from 4 different chefs/food enthusiasts from around the country. I was in charge of the apertivs/first course. I created a trio of little bites, starting with a creme de pomodoro with a bufala mozzarella topping, garnished with a tiny basil leaf, next was a coronet of salted cod on a toast point, with fennel sprouts, and last was mozzarella en carrozza, with anchovy breabdrumbs and slivers of blanched asparagus. I was really happy with my plate, and the judges seemed to like it too! Anyway, gotta get to school now. Arriverderci!

Friday, April 23, 2010

sheep, goat and cow---the holy trinity!

Ciao Tutti!

We started out our day at a very small cheese maker right outside Canelli. They had a small herd of sheep and about 10 cows from which they produce their cheese from. They import special goat milk to make a cheese mixed with the three. (It was heaven) They also make a sort of sweeter sheep's milk cheese and a hard cow's milk cheese that reminded me a lot of a gorgonzola I tried last week. This cheese was paired with a very sweet raisin wine that melded the flavors complex and delicious. I have to say that was some of the best cheese I have ever tasted.

After our day trip we went back to school and had a chef from Turin come in and do a demo. He made a whole roasted goat (go figure) as well as a roasted guinea fowl that was accompanied with a sort of caramelized honey/caper sauce. After that we made a pan fried young veal chop and slow cooked polenta with local cheese.

I am so happy to be leanring in class but my mind keeps on wandering back to pastry. I think that whole side of cuisine gets side-tracked when savory is in the picture. After my research I have decided I would love to persue this and learn as much as I can about it. I found a restaurant in Portofino that has two Michelin stars (one from the pastry chef alone) as well as a 3 forks and knife award. It is located off the Amalfi Coast in the Campania region. It is called Torre del Saracino. Check it out if you would like and wish me luck that they can find accomodations for me!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Just booked my flights to Barcelona!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pastry or not....

Hi everyone!
Well, today was great...we has Italian classes in the morning, then went straight into preparation for lunch service. It was the first "exciting" day that we had at school. At Johnson and Whales we prepped lunch service everyday...then upwards to 75 people would stand in line at the steam tables and select what they wanted. Here is totally different, we have a la carte service everyday, (although the school cook, Yuki, almost always prepares it) and the students who are on dining room duty serve the other students and staff, about 50 people in all.

So, I was in charge of the creme brulee and creme anglaise ice cream. I feel as if I got pegged into doing pastry because I have the most experience, so naturally I was a little peeved...but at least I know how to make those things. Although, It would have been nice to learn a new technique or make something I have never made before but all in all it was a great day. I made 50 (well maybe 40) perfect creme brulees and my partner, Ido made a delicious ice cream to go with it, I garnished this all with some sliced kiwi (I would have liked to make a sugar cage to perch on top of each one, but I asked and was told I wouldn't have time, even though I was standing around doing dishes for 45 minutes) but even so, It was a great dish that I was happy to serve to my fellow students and teachers. I liked being in the heat of the moment of an a la carte setting....it has been awhile since I have done that! Arriverderci Tutti!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Ciao Tutti!

Florence was great, we went to this little Osteria near the Duomo. The entire menu was in Italian and we were all a little lost in translation, but that made the meal memorable. We were going to drive down the coast to Pisa the next day but then decided against it because we wanted to go to Il Gigante in time for grilling dinner.

I don't know where I want to do my internship yet. Before I came here I was thinking about doing it in Naples. The fresh seafood and pizza is enough to make my mouth water. Although now there is a huge mafia war near Calabria and most of southern Italy is not very safe. It's a sad thing when organized crime has such an impact on a place. Anyway, I must get going...wine class starts in 20 mins. Arriverderci!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pasta Pasta!

Today was tiring just because of all the food we ate!! We made 5 fresh pasta dishes, and had a pastry class all morning. Today was delicious. Tomorrow we are going to have class in the wine cellars and have a wine tasting in the afternoon.

I am so glad that I am finally settled in. It has been a couple of years since dorm life and I forgot how fun it was. I'm happy that I have roomates that are all respectful, easy to get along with and all around really cool. School is kicking our butts, 10 hours a day of demos, eating, cooking, tasting...etc. Anyway, gonna go hang out with the Brazillians, trying to upload some pictures on facebook. Check up on my fb page for pictures. Ciao!

Monday, April 12, 2010

olive oil tasting/day in Asti

Ciao Famiglia e Amicò! I have to cut it short because my computer is running out of juice but here is a break down of today.

Spent the first part of the day learning about different apertifs, we made tiny mozzarella en carrozza and fried anchovies stuffed with bagna verde. We also learned the traditional way to prepare Bagna Coda. After lunch (cured sirlion we made the previous day with some oil and balsamic) we resumed our day in the wine cellar to listen to a lady talk about producing olive oil. Her company is in Liguria which produces some of the finest olive oil in the world. We learned how to properly taste olive oil and what you should know about it before buying. It was very informative. Tomorrow we will be in the bake shop learning about traditional pastries!! I am also excited for Friday with the Grana Podano tour and the special wine tour. Arrivederci everyone!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Olive Oil!

Today in class we are having an olive oil tasting! Check beack to hear about the details! Ciao.

As close to home cooking as it's gonna get.

School this past week has been mainly lecture and a couple chef demos. A lot of us have been really craving a good meal. The dorms don't have anything but a tiny fridge and this janky grill but let me tell you it was So Good! On the way back from Milan we stopped at Il Gigante which is pretty much just a farmer's market in Asti. There we picked up some spicy sausage, chicken, pork chops, garlic and onions for roasting and a bunch of veggies. Everything here is so fresh and produce is very inexpensive.


Let me begin with one thing. Learning to drive a stick shift Fiat is not an easy task. Thankfully the Brazillians were here to navigate. Milan was amazing. Seeing the Duomo as soon we got there was amazing. We went to a night club that was insane. Everyone was dancing and not caring. I think I burned off every single calorie I have ingested in the past week (which was not an easy task considering I have never eaten so many carbs in my life). The hostel we stayed in was clean and packed with German girls. I haven't slept on the top bunk since I was 5 but at least I layed my head down that night because I needed it.

Yesterday we toured the Duomo and got all of our stuff stolen from us. Thankfully for me it was only one nights outfit and my cute leather pumps :( Oh well, at least it wasn't my passport and money like Thyrso. I also find it funny to have someone rent a car, then when you are trying to return it, the office is closed. I called and called and then realized I might as well take advantage of the situation and go to Lake Como with my roomates. Ciao for now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Brazilians were hanging out on the balcony again last night so you know what that means....Wine will be flowing!! Another amazing night at Cascina Solaria. This morning was a little rough, but nothing an espresso and a croissant can't fix. Class went well today, We have a Master Sommolier as our dining room teacher so we went over the correct Italian way of dinner service. It is very precise and oriented much on the details of serving vino. I am ready to be back in the kitchen though. Tomorrow we are making all different sorts of pizza and various types of breads. We have a fully functional wood burning oven that dates back to the former tennants of the castle. We also have a stack oven with pizza stones built in. Fun equipment to work with for sure!

This weekend is the second largest wine festival in the world held in Verona. I would love the chance to go although accomadations are limited and driving is kindof an issue considering it is 3 hours away. Instead my roomate and I were thinking of spending the night in Milan on Friday, then heading to Torino on Saturday to meet up with my friend Danny I met in Rome two years ago for a birthday party. Not at all a bad way to spend a weekend! (PS: best quote of the night coming from "The Russian" about the craziest drinking game I have ever heard of---"You must fill a fishbowl full of wodka, Pass around circle and fill more wodka. Then, whoever finishes this wodka wins!" Wow, I wouldn't last two minutes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Translation Please??

My whole course is in English with virtually no translations on the recipes and Coursebook. And did I mention how the buses pass pedestrians within 2 inches?

So far Italy Has Been quite an adventure. Got lost on the plane straight into Turin. Thankfully a very helpful tourist shared a cab with me. After no sleep and lots of jetlag, I managed to eat a small dinner and have a glass of wine with a bunch of crazy Brazilians. I met my roomates, and two others a Peruvian girl from the west coast. It is a wonderful mix of cultures and cuisines. So far the school Seems perfect. (Except of the Flame No rule unfortunatly Which Means No gas burners) A small Imperfection. I am in a group of 4 girls, and one guy. I Can not wait to blog more about my Experiences and will be sure to upload pictures of my town and the food I will be making! Ciao Everyone!! (FYI: If this paragraph is phrased weird I apologize. My computer decided to get all Italian on me.)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

1 more day!

It's down to the day before I leave for the rolling hills and beautiful backdrop of the Alps. My plane will arrive in Milan on Monday morning and from there I will (somehow) manage to get to the airport in Turin so I can board the bus to Costigliole d'Asti! I start classes on Tuesday at the International Culinary Institute for Foreigners. I am anxious to meet my fellow classmates and get back into my whites. But for now, I must continue to pack, and find a way to pack 6 months worth of clothes into a couple suitcases! Arrivederci!