I'm Marcela. A foodie at heart. I never say no to good company over a meal. I live in the Tuscan countryside. I love travelling. USA will always be my first choice of destination. Bourdain addicted. Rustic Toscana is my latest project where I try to blend my passion for food and travel into work life.

All posts by marcelasenise

Terri Salminen

Terri Salmie

I am American born and had the great fortune of growing up in the countryside of the northern Italian region the Veneto.  I soaked up culture, friendship and love of food through my mother’s intensely social attitude and followed her to markets and into the kitchen from three years of age onward.

Terri writing in her kitchen

I first met Terri about five years ago through our connection with Jamie Oliver’s Foundation.
She is a very lovely lady impossible not to fall in love with! She is caring, gives attention to the smallest of details when dealing with people and, YES!, she is a true food lover. Did I mention what a great food photographer she is as well? You can see it all on her blog Recipe Writings – and food memories.

What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?
The kitchen is the center of the house and a favorite place to write.

What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?
I am most inspired to cook in the morning as I like to create new things during the first part of the day. Sunday is my favorite day of the week to cook, and I often make fresh pasta or something that takes time to prepare on Sunday.

Are you a creative chef or simply love to follow recipes?

I am a creative cook. I like to read recipes in order to learn. Cooking is a continuously growing process so reading recipes is like learning a new language to me. When I cook, I cook intuitively though.

Three ingredients that are never missing on your kitchen cabinet?
Extra virgin olive oil, garlic and rosemary are always in my kitchen cabinet.

How did your passion for cooking come about?
My passion for cooking comes from two sources, my mother and her love of cooking and Italy, where I grew up.

What’s your favourite dish to cook that you know it can never go wrong with it?
My favorite dish is zucchini soup. It never goes wrong and always tastes wonderful. It’s like comfort on a spoon. On the other hand, risotto and polenta never go wrong either and I love them too. And of course, I can’t live without tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato jam. I love tomatoes!

Would you receive for a day an entire tv crew in your kitchen?
Yes, I would receive a tv crew in my kitchen and I would make them a nice lunch.

Do you follow any tv show or have a favourite cooking book?
I don’t watch cooking shows generally. I have many favorite cookbooks. Cooks I admire are Elizabeth David, Alice Waters, Nigel Slater and of course Jamie Oliver. I have many cookbooks but choose them carefully. I have just ordered Julia Child’s “The Art of French Cooking” and will read it page by page!

Terri Salminen  “I am a cook by profession and a philosopher by education. I am American born and had the great fortune of growing up in the countryside of the northern Italian region the Veneto.  I soaked up culture, friendship and love of food through my mother’s intensely social attitude and followed her to markets and into the kitchen from three years of age onward.


family portrait Terri Salminen – all rights reserved personal archive

I started cooking professionally when my first child was born. I follow the principles of the Italian kitchen, utilizing fresh, colorful and seasonal ingredients. I love to experiment with color and structure. In my cooking there is always a combination of raw and cooked, steamed or grilled, braised and stewed. I love herbs and cannot cook without olive oil, garlic and good sea salt.

I live in the Netherlands where I work as Sous Chef at Microsoft at Hutten, sometimes as private chef, give teaching classes and write about food for the Dutch edition of Jamie Magazine, on my own blog and for various special projects. My dream is to have a cooking school, open to the community, working with all generations, sharing the beauty of food.”


Carluccio & his food empire UK

“Italian men has two main functions, to eat and to make love”

Antonio Carluccio


Last week the world of food has lost a very important figure. He was considered the Godfather of Italian food abroad.
He was born in Salerno, in the region of Campania, the fifth of six children.
He moved with his father’s job when he was young and lived in Castelnuovo Belbo and Borgofranco d’Ivrea. Living in the northwest, an area with great vegetation, as a child he would hunt through the forest for different mushrooms and fungi with his father. After leaving school he did his compulsory one year of military service in the Italian Navy. After leaving the navy, he briefly worked as a journalist with La Stampa in Turin and then as a technician and sales representative for typewriter manufacturer Olivetti.
It was not until he moved again, this time to Vienna, to study languages and start his work life as a wine merchant. Thirteen years later he moved to London to become the Italian wine importer of that time. Thas was back in 1975.

Carluccio & Terence ConranIn the restaurant business everything started when he became the manager at Terence Conran’s Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden. He married Conran’s sister. The rest is history.

If you visited London you must surely have come across the Carluccio’s sign from one of his restaurants, seen some of his 20 books in bookshops. It was under his supervision that UK beloved chef Jamie Oliver started working in London.

Gennaro Jamie & Carluccio

Credits David Loftus

That led to a life time friendship between them and Gennaro Contaldo, whom they made a hilarous tv series for BBC called “Two greedy Italians”.

A rather quiet and shy persona, I remember, during my London years when I visited his Deli back in late 90’s. Always present and smiling but reserved, making sure everything was up and running as he wanted. Food was good.

The United Kingdom surely is grateful to what Carluccio represented in the evoution and upgrade of quality of food when eating out over the years but mostly being the man who brought Italian flavors over the chanel.

Antonio Carluccio

In 2007 he was appointed an OBE by the Queen.

*extracts from Wikipedia

Cibo a Regola d’Arte goes to Napoli

heading cibo a regla d'arte napoli


After 5 years of very successful editions in Milan, Angela Frenda and her staff at Corriere della Sera have decided to reach the south of Italy and host this year’s edition in Napoli.

Angela FrendaFor Angela a place called home. She is going back to her origins and that makes it even more special. From Friday October 27th til Sunday 29th, with a programme brimming with high profiled chefs, events, workshops, the breathtaking location chosen to hold #ciboaregoladarte2017, we can all be prepared for a weekend of exceptional work within the world of food. This year’s theme is ‘Gastronomic Renaissance’
View Corriere della Sera reportage


chefsA list of names including Massimo Bottura, Adeline Grattard, Andrea Berton, Alessandro Borghese, Iginio Massari are some of the 23 chefs that will talk & cook at the Convento San Domenico Maggiore .

Workshop for adults and kids have a great program. Check availability here

So all I can say for now is my luggage is ready and I can’t wait to share it with you all the news, events and even some cooking classes I might dare to attend. Follow me here with daily updates, Facebook and Instagram…and if I manage even Twitter 🙂

Here is the weekend’s full program

French butter crisis?!

unsalted french butter

french baguette

It is an announced crisis for a while. Climate change, political issues, you pick your choice.
What is in question here is how will the French live without their fantasticly buttered croissants and all those jambon baguettes?
Prices are rising, supermaket shelves with apologetic notes for lackign supply, bakers not knowing where to find their tones of butter.
Let’s hope for the best!

here is a good article from The Guardian to get into more detailed explanation.

David Lebovitz

david lebovitz about

He is the pioneer of all bloggers. The sweet, shy New Yorker that moved to Paris. He cooks, takes food photos incredibly well, writes so invintigly that makes you want to eat out of his words. He has published eight books and has a new one coming out on November 7th entitled ‘l’appart’, where he gets personal about sharing the stories of making his dream come true. His own parisian home and with his own kitchen. Can’t wait to read it all!
If you are a serious foodie you must have his blog saved on your web bookmarks favourites! His Facebook page is great to follow too.

Here is me on a total “fan moment” during the book signing of ‘The Kitchn Book’ in NYC a few summers ago.

David Lebovitz – Living the sweet life in Paris

Tuscan bread

the original pane di montegemoli

Italy is famous for having a whole variety of bread making. It changes according to each region. From North to South you have rye, durum wheat, crunchy, soft, focaccia, ciabatta to name a few. It has been counted around 300 types of bread.

pane di montegemoli

Visiting a very beloved region of international and local tourists, when in Tuscany you will find one of the least flavoured breads. No salt is the main characteristic of it. Back during the Second World War salt was one of the most precious ingredients to have so “cooking” with it was rarity and mostly for the privileged. Nowadays reason being is because Tuscan food is rather heavier flavoured considering their culture of eating hunting meat, their selection of cold cuts, the classic aged pecorino, all foods with intese flavour for the palate thus a choice of a more plain taste bread to go with. Or simply having a slice with drizzles of olive oil, another typical product of Tuscany.
Right in the middle of the Maremma hills you can find a stoned house with a very famous oven called ‘Forno di Montegemoli’. They produce the original recipe (with a pinch of salt, but shhh! don’t say it out loud!) and distribute to most of local panetterie (bakery) and supermarkets within 50 kms.

People come from all over to visit the location, see a tuscan wooden oven and experience the amazing landscape that surrounds the house. Not to mention the smell! You can buy it too! They bake white and whole recipes.

 tuscan landscapeAbsolutely worth the drive around the countryside to reach them. If you are coming from or going towards Siena, San Gimignano make sure to include this stop on your trip. Check opening hours as they don’t work on weekends.

Paris will always Paris!

parisian sweets window

Spoken and over spoken but no one ever gets tired of talking about Paris.
Walking yourself exhausted around those parisian streets, with those magnificent buildings, windows, flower stalls that only in Paris you can find, bringing color to the coolest or rainiest of days.
French patisserie? Chocolaterie? Boulangerie? In Paris you can go foodie crazy no doubt.
What I love the most about traveling to Paris is the certainty of always finding tradition and reassurance where you left last time you’ve visited.
Old places. New ones too.
Paris is always Paris!

tour eiffel
sunset paris
liberté égalité fraternité
bistro marrais
place des vosges fountain
place des vosges arcs
place des vosges fall
parisian beauty
parisian street art
notre dame
musee d'orsay
louvre & pyramid
parisian buildings II


parisian book shop


parisian doors

parisian metro
Egg & Co.
parisian onion soup
parisian gluttony
parisian sweets

Regina Sader

zizi and kids

“I grew up living in the same house with my parents, grandma and auntie. I would spend hours in the kitchen with them when my mother was working. Trying absolutely everything. The best kibbeh was made by grandma.”

kitchen acessories

What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?
The kitchen is where everything starts. You prepare the food that gathers everyone together. It’s a huge pleasure and also therapeutical when I have the chance to cook and share such space of my life with people. I have very fond memories from my parents’ house kitchen with all those smells when my mother used to bake panettone or auntie mincing meat to prepare kibbeh for me….

What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?
I prefere to cook around lunch time. Evenings tend to be quite tiring after a long day.

Are you a creative “chef” or simply love to follow recipes?
I would say nor one or the other. Occasionally I do follow some recipes but mainly I cook what I’ve learnt from my lebanese auntie that used to live with us, from my mom and a very dear family friend that saddly is no longer here with us.

cooking books

Three ingredients that are never missing in your kitchen cabinet?
Only three?! Well I can try: I consider all kinds of herbs one ingredient like parsley, mint and basil. Then it comes parmesan cheese and wine of course. Red and white!

How did your passion for cooking come about?
From my childhood. I grew up living in the same house with my parents, grandma and auntie. I would spend hours in the kitchen with them when my mother was working. Trying absolutely everything. The best kibbeh was made by grandma. We used to have a roost in the backyard so seeing my auntie killing the chickens, cleaning and cooking them was a very normal thing for me as a child to see. I loved eating the insides auntie would feed me. On top of it, I also had a italian mother-in-law that made the best fresh pasta ever together with some exquisite sauces and roasted meats.


What’s your favourite dish to cook that you know it can never go wrong with it?
Arabic dishes are my speciality. Tabouleh, dolma, eggplant couscous and prawns, hummus. Risotto is also something I enjoy cooking. And my kids love them all.

kitchen window

Would you receive an entire tv crew in your kitchen for a day?
Why not?!

Do you follow any tv shows or have a favourite cooking book?
I don’t watch it regularly but I love Nigella Lawson’s programs. I do have her books and many others but frankly I don’t make much use of them. Pure lack of time really. I do have also one book about food in all regions in Lebanon that just the pictures are spectacular!
I will one day visit Lebanon, the country of my origins!

Regina Sader
loves to cook for family & friends when work allows. Brazilian born into a typical mixed race immigrant family. Her roots are all in her dishes with a history of food heritage many would die for to have it at home.