I remember when I was young living in China, every Sunday evening after dinner, my parents and I would sit down together and watched one of the most popular travel programs on CCTV at that time. I can still recall the scenes when they introduced food in Italy: wine, cheese board, salami…… all set in front of the background of rolling hills. Even until today, when my Mom is asked about her ideas of Italy, she would put: in Milan you go shopping, in Rome all your dreams of being a princess come true by visiting all the spots shot in the movie “Roman Holiday”, and for food and wine, you can have it all in Tuscany!
Food in Tuscany plays such an important part in both Tuscan people’s live and tourists’ itinerary, and it hardly disappoints anybody. What I love about Tuscany cuisine is that only using simply ingredients, you can have a plate of heaven on your table. It is a kind of food perfect as home dishes, and still preferred by foodies!
So when Giulia from Jul’s Kitchen asked me to join her for a blogger’s day, I was in great delight: to meet one of THE food bloggers in Tuscany in person, who is the one create delicious recipes! I AM IN!!!
It was one of those perfect sunny Friday, together with other great bloggers (who I have been following for a long time, this was like a dream-come-true!), we arrived Colle Val d’Elsa. After taking us shopping in the local fresh market, Giulia brought us to her kitchen.
Then the fun part began! Together, under Giulia’s supervising, we started to chop, stir, mix and place the food into plates. Two-hour food preparation passed fast when there were lots of talking, sharing, laughing and picture-taking! Next thing we knew was three dishes ready to be tasted (THREE, that sounds a lot, doesn’t it?!): Caprese salad,chickpea cake, and zuppa inglese!
Since this was my first experience in a famous food blogger’s kitchen, I felt I must take some souvenir with me before leaving. So I did, an interview with Giulia, where she talked about her interpretation of her cooking:
❓ Is your cooking influenced by anyone or any other cuisine?
Giulia: My grandmother! I am not a professional chef, but I’ve always loved cooking. I learned cooking from my grandmother when I was young. My mother at that time was not good at cooking (even though now she is a good cook), and I was inspired by my grandma since the beginning.
❓ If you are asked to cook one dish to represent your kitchen, what would it be?
Giulia: Pappa al pomodoro, which is a tuscany soup with tomatoes and bread, typical in Tuscany cooking. And it is with just a few ingredients: olive oil, fresh tomatoes, and stale bread, all typical in Tuscany. And it is a comfort food.
Sasha: So your way of cooking is to use simple ingredients to bring out the best tastes of them.
Giulia: Yes! Simple ingredients, simple procedures, simple cooking technics. I am not a professional chef, so I don’t know how to cook complicated things. Just family dishes!
❓ Would you consider to search for idea or get inspirations from other cuisine, such as Asian dish?
Giulia: In my blog, I write about pure Tuscany food. But when I cook at home, I love to experiment. Actually when I just started my blog, I used to blog about spring rolls, fried rice, etc. Because I wanted to cook something completely different from my daily dishes, which allows me to experient. Then later I decided to move to Tuscan cooking, which is what I was born into.
Sasha: Can you give an example of your experient?
Giulia: I use a lot of ginger. Sometimes to fry garlics with olive oil, I put some ginger in it. Just because I really like it, and it is fresh. 😜
❓ What is the challenge you found in promoting your recipes?
Giulia: The seasonal or local ingredents. For example when I refer to really typical ingredients, which are not easy to find abroad, that can be a problem.
❓ As a successful full-time blogger, what is your word to us new bloggers!
Giulia: Be passionate! I began my blog more than 6 years ago just to give some space to my passion, and after all this time I stil love it, every single day!
Be passionate, be honest, work hard and enjoy the connections and new friends your blog will give you!
As she does every time after her cooking class, Giulia asked us to pin the place where we are from on her geo-map. I was proud to be the first mainland Chinese setting footprint in her kitchen!
Find Giulia’s food blog and information of her cooking class on her blog Jul’s Kitchen: