Most kitchens back in Italy are quite small, including mine when I lived in Florence. This made it very difficult for me to create innovative dishes since I don’t have the kitchen space or the equipment for it. So now that I’m home, I take full advantage of my American sized kitchen! I also started a food journal where I would jot down ideas of food I wanted to create with sketches and descriptions. My strength in cooking is obviously Italian cuisine since I have been studying it for over three years. However, due to my upbringing I tend to have a Californian/New American twist on all my dishes. These are all dishes I created on my own or took inspiration from other recipes, enjoy!
My Food Journal.
Seared Rib-eye Steak with Summer Squash Caponata and Red Wine Reduction.
Handmade Mint Tagliatelle with Lamb Ragù, Black Olives, and Walnuts.
Savory Tart with Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Gruyère Cheese, Black Olives, and Basil.
Handmade Tomato Tortelli with Zucchini Cream, Burrata Cheese, Candied Tomatoes, and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Fondue.
Rib-eye Steak with Tart Dried Cherry BBQ Sauce, Charred Corn and Avocado Relish, Fried Potatoes, Creamy Goat Cheese, and Pickled Onions.
Salmon Crudo with Avocado Crema, Sea Beans, Watermelon Cucumbers, Chili Croutons, and Salsa Verde.
Striped Sea Bass with Romesco Sauce, Summer Squash, Padron Peppers, Baby Potatoes, Serrano Ham Chips, and Lemon Aioli.
Corn and Coconut Soup with Crab, Thai Red Chili, and Macadamia Nut Relish with Cilantro Oil.
Tamarind Glazed Quail with Smoky Plantain Crema, Pineapple, Avocado, and Bacon Salsa and Pickled Baby Carrots.
Fresh Peach Soufflé with Warm Salted Caramel Sauce.
Beef Tartare with Crunchy Bread, Little Gem Lettuce Salad, and Bagna Cauda Mayonnaise.
Handmade Black Pepper Chitarra Pasta alla Carbonara with Fava Beans.
Poached Halibut with Pistachio Cream, Mixed Vegetables, Meyer Lemon, and Black Olive Sauce.
Cornmeal Zeppole with Sweet Corn Custard and Warm Pluot Compote.
Cauliflower Soup with Braised and Roasted Brassicas, Pickled Radishes, Brown Butter Hazelnuts, and Parsnip Chips.
Squid Ink Spaghetti tossed in Shrimp Butter with Florida Pink Hoppers, Chili San Marzano Tomato Sauce, and Lemon and Chive Breadcrumbs.
Roasted Lamb Loin with Green Garlic Polenta, Roasted Mushrooms and Asparagus, Carrot Chips, and Fresh Dill.
What I also love about being home, besides my huge kitchen, is that California has a plethora of available ingredients that don’t exist in Italy. One of my favorite grocery stores, Berkeley Bowl, has literally every ingredient you can imagine and more! Every time I go there I see new kinds of vegetables, fruits, meats, and seafood. Sometimes it can even get overwhelming with the amount of items that they carry in the store. However, having accessibility to diverse ingredients is every cooks dream! I feel fortunate that I am able to take my ideas and turn them into reality by creating edible pieces of art on a plate.
Be sure to check out other dishes here that I created from my days at culinary school.