Friday, October 19, 2012

Have Knives, Will Travel

Cradling my beloved Sicilian pachino tomatoes at Da Claudio, my favorite stand in the Campo de' Fiori market
I don't want to be boastful here, but it's not every day that you have an article written about you and your work in The New York Times. So, like a special birthday or anniversary, a milestone, I am going to celebrate this occasion. I'm showing my appreciation for the profile in this week's Frequent Flier column by re-posting the link to the article that ran this past Tuesday, October 16th in the business section of The Times, page B8. 

The column is dedicated to those who travel a lot, for business and/or pleasure. And I certainly do travel, and overall, I love it. The flying part of it? Not as much. Those who know me know I've had my fair share of travel drama (and missed flights -- particularly when going to or coming from London. Not sure what it is with that place and me missing my plane!). Flying has become considerably less fun since 9/11, and ever more complicated when traveling with knives, as one might imagine. For me, bringing my knife roll along is like a business person carrying a briefcase: it is my work stuff. But try convincing an overworked and cranky TSA agent of that. Anyway, the article sheds a little light on how it is to travel when your business is cooking for clients. 

This column, however, is not long enough to discuss all the fun I've had traveling and cooking for clients along the way, and over the past nearly-10 years that my company, Blu Aubergine, has been in existence. From teaching cooking classes and giving culinary tours in Rome when it was my full-time home, to traveling outside of the city to teach in a gorgeous villa in Tuscany, or a beautiful home in Westchester, to working with corporate clients on team-building cooking classes among international employees, I've loved teaching others about the food I love. And I've loved traveling to cook for others all over the world, whether it was for clients from New York City to Martha's Vineyard to South Florida, or overseas, from up and down the Italian peninsula to raucous dinner parties in London, to cooking for friends in the French countryside or in southern Spain. And while eating during the course of all of my travels around the world, I've gained enormous inspiration that informs my cooking, from Thailand to Argentina, Sardegna to Croatia, Israel to Brazil, the Greek Islands to the Caribbean islands. I explore so that wherever I might be, in whatever kitchen I find myself, I bring a taste of the world to my cuisine. And I hope to keep doing so for a very long time. 

If you need a hand in the kitchen, anywhere around the world, I have the answer: I have knives. And I will travel.