Planes, trains, bicycles & automobiles. Getting ready for a month long trip to Italy. I have been dreaming of spending at least a month in Italy for about nine years now. Most of you that know me, are not going to be sympathetic at all I know. Some of you may call me “Bitch” behind my back, which is OK because I have earned and deserve that title. I have managed to visit Italy twice a year for quite some time, but never for longer then two weeks.
Being an owner and executive chef of a restaurant has brought it’s challenges. There were days I would have welcomed razor blades, there were mornings I thought I could not possibly get up and do it again. I still plan on writing a book someday which might be similar to Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” updated. Not as many drugs involved, and way to much social media.
I was entertaining friends for dinner one evening this week. We were sitting on the patio working on our second bottle of wine enjoying some incredible wild boar ribs. My friend asked; “Shelly what has been the best thing that has come out of owning and operating a restaurant”. Did I make a fortune? Not hardly. Did I lose money. You betcha. So why did I do it? The friends and family that I now have in Italy is my incredible fortune . Had I not opened the restaurant I would have never traveled to Italy so often. I would have never visited my wine makers that I now call my friends and family.
In the month to come I will visit six wineries stretching from the very south in Sicily to the very north in Piedmonte. I will be joined by six women from Colorado who should expect a trip of a lifetime. Together we will learn to row in the Venetian canals, and sample the foods and wine from the Veneto region. We will visit Cartizze hill which seems appropriate for the amount of bottles of Cartizze that we have sabered & polished off. We will take in all the beauty of Lake Como, and promise not to stalk George Clooney if we see him. If we happened to stumble upon George all bets are off! Moving to Piedmonte to enjoy truffles & Barolo. The weather will still be so nice that we must venture to the Mediterranean. Santa Margherita is one of my special places to visit, where we will soak in the sun and put our toes in the water for a few days. Taking in the sites of the Cinque Terre & Portofino by boat and enjoying the local catch of the day.
I will be writing and posting photos every step of the way so that you can join us on this incredible adventure. My travels will begin in Sicily September 17th, visiting my dear friend and Sicilian sister Marilena Barbera. I am very excited to visit during harvest and to cook with Nina Barbera. Stay tuned will have some fun things coming your way.