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One of my supreme joys in life is collaborating with friends to create delicious food and beverage experiences. Two highlights of 2015 were doing a dinner series with the Vetri Family in Philly and a Rome-themed pizza and craft beer party with the team at Boulder’s Pizzeria Locale. It’s such a thrill to (more…)

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Mandrione, an impoverished Italian immigrant neighborhood, circa 1960.

“Semo romani de Roma! We are Romans from Rome!” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Roman friends make this declaration. And true or not (and it’s often not), it’s an incredibly common claim. What it means in the local vernacular is that one’s roots can be traced back at least seven generations in the city of (more…)

Roman baker and pizzaiolo Gabriele Bonci of Pizzarium and Panifico Bonci is teaming up with Nick Anderer of NYC’s Marta and Maialino for a pizza-themed event next month. Gabriele and Nick will be cooking together for two nights only, November 13 and 14, at Chef’s Club by Food & Wine (275 Mulberry Street, NYC). (more…)

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Is there such a thing as Italian cuisine? I’ll be tackling that question alongside historian Professor John Dickie and celebrated chef Francesco Mazzei at a special event at The London Review Bookshop on October 1.

Italy is home to rich and numerous regional cuisines that have been shaped by politics, economics, and geography. What we eat in Rome differs dramatically from classic Neapolitan fare or the typical dishes in the nearby Apennines. Considering the prevalence of unique regional foods, the notion of a universal Italian cuisine may seem absurd. But that doesn’t mean no one has ever tried to invent Italian cuisine.

Industrial food companies like Barilla and Mulino Bianco have been doing it for years and their marketing teams have fabricated national Italian food sensibilities and leveraged local stereotypes for their own commercial benefit in Italy and abroad. Join us for an evening of enlightening debate moderated by author Dino Joannides as we confront the question at hand.

Book your tickets here. The talk will be accompanied by a menu of seasonal food and Rose and Brut Prosecco from Bisol/Jeio. The food is provided by award-winning greengrocer Andreas of Chelsea and L`Emporio Fine Foods.

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After escaping the Roman heat wave with a long trip back to the States, I’m back in town and thrilled to be back to work doing, among other things, giving tours. In the spring, I added affordable small group tours to the repertoire, so if you want to hang out and talk about food and archeology, no need to book a private tour (unless you want to!). These small group itineraries visit two archeological sites that are normally closed to the public, Monte di Testaccio (aka Monte dei Cocci) and the Circus Maximus Mithraeum. Upcoming visits must be booked through Eventbrite. Here’s a bit more about the sites:

Monte di Testaccio is a man-made hill composed of tens of millions of ancient terra cotta amphorae. The hill is a fascinating trash heap which testifies to the Roman appetite for imported oil during the Empire. The next visits to the 135-foot-tall pile of ancient olive oil jugs will be held Sept 18 and Oct 3.

The Circus Maximus Mithraeum, a cavernous underground ruin dedicated to the god Mithras, dates back to the early Imperial period and preserves ancient reliefs. I’ll be leading tours of that site Oct 10 and Oct 24.

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