The Magic of Travel
May 31, 2022
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”
– Ibn Battuta
I’ve yearned for the opportunity to travel and savor this type of experience again, and after much anticipation, this spring, the magic began!
Just weeks ago, I grabbed my bags and passport and flew to Marrakech, Morocco, where I led a small group through the myriad of sites, smells, and spices of the souks. We stayed in the beautiful retreat in the Palmerie District, where we created pastillas, couscous, and tagines outdoors and enjoyed our feasts surrounded by the lovely gardens of Jnane Tamsna. We ventured toward the sea to taste lovely wines at Val D'Argon. Then we enjoyed an incredible feast at a beautiful private home overlooking the hillside, and danced with musicians playing traditional gnawa instruments. Every one of your senses is truly felt in Morocco, and next time, I hope you will join me there!
Next, I hopped a flight to Italy, where I would meet another group of culinary travelers on the Island of Sicily! Within minutes of arriving at our villa, cocktails were flowing, and my guests and I became fast-friends while taking in our 360 degree views of Mt. Etna and the Sea! Throughout our week together, we cooked and dined on sumptuous Sicilian dishes, hiked along the volcano and sampled some outrageously good wine at Benanti Vineyards. Of all the dishes we made together, everyone went gaga over the Beef Braciole with Pecorino, Pine Nuts and Raisins--especially how it paired so beautifully with the wonderful Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese wines that I had tucked away in my little wine cellar stash at the villa a few years ago.
Then, it was off to meet my next group, who would join me for an adventure along the Amalfi Coast! It didn’t take long for us to join arm-in-arm as we sipped our way through the lemon orchard where we enjoyed a tasting and learned how to make homemade limoncello, at La Limonaia. When our private boat arrived to take us to the island of Capri, our smiles could not have been brighter! We cooked some incredible meals together, yet I think that the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina we made was the highlight for everyone.
Last but definitely not least, another group met me for a Culinary Tour in Tuscany! We stayed at my dear friend, Valentina's property and she and I have been planning this trip for so long, it was kind of surreal to finally make it happen! I'm still a bit speechless about this one, but as some of my guests, shared:
"Experiencing Italy through both your eyes, was glorious. Italy more than lived up to the beautiful stories I have heard for so many years... The food truly, exudes the passion of the people. " - Penina
"I made many new connections with people that I enjoyed being with and I know I will stay in touch with! I know that I see another culinary adventure in the future..." - Andi
Now, all I can do is smile as I eagerly await wait to share the next culinary tour with a new group who will soon feel like family.
Be well and cook, taste and explore together!