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My Tuscan Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from the Castello di Vicarello
Written by Aurora Baccheschi Berti, Foreword by Julian Niccolini
About This Book
A sumptuous escape to the sensual culinary flavors of the Italian countryside, with more than a hundred recipes for the home cook. In a wild, undiscovered corner of Tuscany called Maremma, boars roam the hillsides, olive trees stand like sentries, and fennel perfumes the air. This landscape yields its own cuisine—rustic dishes that let their seasonal ingredients shine through. There is no better place to learn the secrets of this cuisine than the Castello di Vicarello. This twelfth century fairy-tale castle is now an exclusive resort where the proprietor, Aurora Berti, prepares meals based on the garden. Here, Aurora presents the many recipes she has developed over the past decade by sharing with local peasant women and drawing from her own family’s traditions. Organized by season, this charming cookbook immerses the reader in the daily rhythms of the land. The dishes are accompanied by sidebars and photos that convey the story of this place: pruning the vineyards in winter, picking asparagus in spring, drying tomatoes for sauce in summer, and hunting porcini in fall. The recipes burst with flavor while remaining simple: black kale crostini, radicchio and walnut salad, carbonara with favas, roast pork with apples, peach crostata. My Tuscan Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from the Castello di Vicarello is the next best thing to taking a trip to this magical country.
About the Author
Aurora B. Berti was born in Lombardy and worked as a textile designer for 18 years before settling into the Castello di Vicarello in Maremma, Tuscany, in 1996. She and her husband worked to transform this twelfth-century castle into an intimate luxury resort. Aurora prepares all the guests' meals, using ingredients mostly grown on the grounds. Guests are encouraged to join her in the kitchen for impromptu cooking classes, or in the garden to help pick the day's produce. The Castello di Vicarello has been named one of the 101 Best Hotels in the World by Tatler in 2009 and one of the 25 best new hotels in Italy by Travel & Leisure in 2004. Julian Niccolini is a native of Tuscany who is best known as the co-owner of New York City's Four Seasons restaurant. Niccolini is also an actor, journalist, winemaker, and beekeeper.