Tag: Foodie


guide me to by Malu Neves Instagram

I remember when Malu sent me a text message asking my opinion about her latest project. That was back in mid 2019.


Guide me to the blog was taking shape. In the most sophisticated and well written  way. A space where Malu could finally share her talents and passions. Writing, traveling, photographing, exploring the world and finally being able to share her encounters.

Malu Neves photographingShe moved to Holland with her husband and cat to dive deeper into her new venture. Soon after pandemic hit the world but she didn’t stop. Digitally she carried on as much as she could and her Instagram account took a step ahead of her blog in keeping her closer to connections faster than her subsequently posts.

A perfect balance.

Three years have gone by, they now live in bellissima Florence and her work and daily life are true pleasure to watch how she shares through very entertaining stories and posts.

Lest you imagine what she has in store for the coming months with travelling more flexible.

An Instagram account to follow!

Andrea Strong

Andrea Strong

Over the course of her career, Andrea has been a lawyer, a restaurant manager, a waitress, a farm hand, a humanitarian activist, an advocate, and for the past two decades, a journalist. 

Known for her pioneering food blog, The Strong Buzz, Andrea covers the intersection of food, business, culture, policy, and the law. Her work appears in The New York Times, Food & Wine, New York Magazine, Heated, Eater, and more.  

1. What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?
The kitchen is the heart of our home. I live in a garden apartment in Carroll Gardens with my two kids Sam and Eiji who are 9 and 13 now. I am always in the kitchen, probably because it’s the biggest room in the house. It’s large enough to fit my desk where I write and work, and a big, old well-loved (marginally destroyed) dining room table where we eat all our meals, but also do homework, play board games, and have fierce games of cards. It’s where the kids can sit around with their friends and be ridiculous when they are not in front of the TV and their phones. I love to read and the kitchen is full of bookshelves stuffed with novels and many cookbooks. The front door opens right up into the kitchen, and it’s very homey and warm, and that’s important to me. When people come over I hope they feel the warmth and the love that’s in this room. 
andrea strong work area
2. What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?
I have two kids so I cook all the time – particularly during the pandemic, it was three meals a day, for everyone, every day for months. It was a bit bananas. But things have smoothed out now, thankfully, and mostly I cook in the late afternoon. We eat dinner together as a family every night we are home, and the kids get hungry early (well honestly they are hungry all the time), so I cook around 4ish and we eat by 5:30pm-6pm. But I am always putting out snacks, slicing veggies and fruit for them, or making them toast, or bagels or what have you. I’m a very good short order cook. 

I should also say that both my kids can cook, particularly my older son Eiji. Both kids have been cooking with me since they could stand. They started out putting flour in the bowl, stirring, adding chips to cookies, and as they got older, they did more. Eiji went to the Dynamite Shop, a tween and teen cooking school in Park Slope, and thanks to that he can cook anything. He cooks once a week for his Volleyball team. He’s amazing. Sam is also getting good—he can make scrambled eggs, fried fish, and lasagna. They both love to bake. Sometimes I’ll wake up to them in the kitchen making muffins. Lest you imagine some dreamy scene, you should know they are not particularly tidy cooks. The kitchen is usually a massive mess, like a tornado has blown through. But I don’t care. I am happy to see them cooking and enjoying being together. These are the memories that they’ll have forever. So if we have to clean up for a while, so be it. 
3. Are you a creative chef or simply love to follow recipes?
I’d say I follow recipes and then create. I like the NY Times Cooking and Smitten Kitchen in particular. Once I have cooked a recipe once, I’ll put my own spin on it. I tend to like things with high acidity and some heat so I’ll usually add a squeeze of lemon juice and red chile flake to nearly every recipe I make. And I’ll play with different vegetables or grains or proteins, whatever is in season and in the house.
4. Three ingredients that are never missing from your kitchen cabinet?

As I mentioned I like heat, so I always have a jar of Onino on hand. This is an amazing crunchy chili made in Brooklyn by Cristy Lucie-Alvarado, a recipe developer who has worked most of her life in food marketing. It’s nutty, spicy, garlicky, and just amazing on EVERYTHING. I eat it by the spoonful. No that’s not weird; try it and you will too.
andrea strong onino

I love good salted butter so I always have that out on the counter. I really don’t like cold butter, so it’s never in the fridge. 

I love pesto, so I try to have pine nuts, or even pistachios or almonds in the pantry, some sort of nut that I can toast, toss in the food processor with a clove of garlic, some good Parmesan cheese, lemon, olive oil, and basil and make a quick pesto. Sometimes I’ll add some avocado or a zucchini or half a chili pepper. I told you, I like it spicy. And pesto is so versatile and forgiving. It’s also one of those sauces that’s just great on pasta but also as a sandwich spread, or on fish or chicken, even with raw veggies.
5. How did your passion for cooking come about?
I’d say I first had a passion for eating and for food and restaurants that grew into a passion for cooking. 

My parents divorced when I was very young and my dad did not know how to cook. We’d see him once a week at his apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and he’d take us out for dinner, sometimes to neighborhood places and diners, but other times to really wonderful restaurants like Rumplemeyers and Maxwell’s Plum (I am giving away my age here). I was captivated by the food and the dazzling rooms, the magic of restaurants. 

I studied law and practiced for a while and my passion for restaurants only grew – I was lucky enough to be eating out at the best restaurants in the city. Then I ended up working in restaurants and writing about them. I did go to Peter Kump’s Cooking School for a semester (now Institute of Culinary Education) so I had the basics down, but honestly I didn’t cook much until I had kids because I was too busy eating out. Sure, I’d cook a special occasion meal, but mostly on the rare occasion when I was home I ate a bowl of cereal or ordered in sushi or Chinese. But when I had kids that all changed. I needed to cook for my family, and I learned to cook family recipes from my Persian grandmother, and the rest I sort of cooked what I knew I liked to eat and what I knew they would eat. I was never into making one meal for the kids and one for the grown ups. We all ate the same thing. (Even though Sam used to be quite picky — I’d just make sure to have rice and beans for him at every meal.) And we always ate together. Family meals are very important to me. Yes there are many pizza nights in front of the TV, but I really like the ritual of sitting down to dinner together. Even if it’s fast and furious, it’s together. There are some words of conversation even too.
andrea strong kitchen
6. What’s your favorite dish to cook that you know can never go wrong?

That’s an easy one—Persian Rice and Choresh. These are two Persian recipes that my Bibi taught me. Choresh is a stew, there are many variations on it, but every Friday night I make Chickpea Choresh and a big pot of rice with a potato crust. We are Jewish and while we are not religious, I like the customs and the notion of having a special Friday Sabbath meal where we eat Persian food that my mother and my grandmother used to make for me as a child, It makes me feel like I am creating this lineage of love through food and the generations.
7. Would you receive an entire TV crew in your kitchen for a day?
If they can fit inside, yes!
8. Do you follow any tv shows or have a favorite cooking book?
We love to watch “Nailed It” as a family. The show cracks us up. It’s great. We have also watched the Great British Baking Show but it makes me too hungry. I always want to eat many pieces of cake afterwards.

Tamar Arslanian

Tamar Arslanian

Tamar Arslanian is founder of the popular blog IHAVECAT and author of the book Shop Cats of New York written-up in the New York TimesUSA Today and New York Post. Most recently Tamar has founded “Flirting With Vegan,” a community and tour company that encourages all foodies to give delicious plant-based cuisine a chance.

Because no one has time for mediocre food.

Tamar kitchen stories

1. What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?

Well I love to eat so I do spend quite a bit of time there. I live in NYC so by our standards I have a good sized kitchen. In the rest of the United Stated however, it would be considered minuscule.

2. What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?


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

I started off following recipes but during COVID I had more time to cook and became more comfortable with “going with my gut” so to speak. It was exciting to know what flavors go together to enhance a dish.

4. Three ingredients that are never missing on your kitchen cabinet?

Olive oil, zataar and salt.

Tamar kitchen stories

5. How did your passion for cooking come about?

To be honest I would say I have more of a passion for eating well than for cooking, but seeing as I live alone, I have had to learn how to cook! My mom is an excellent self-taught cook so she has taught me to be very discerning when tasting food. She cooks delicious low-fat high flavor dishes from all cuisines and finds using butters and creams the lazy way of making a dish taste delicious.  Herbs and other seasonings are her favorite.

6. What’s your favourite dish to cook that you know it can never go wrong with it?

A veggie curry with coconut milk.

7. Would you receive an entire tv crew in your kitchen for a day?

Of course as long as they were a NYC size crew to fit into my NYC size apt!

8. Do you follow any tv show or have a favourite cooking book?

My greatest inspiration comes from all the amazing TikTok chefs who are able to share incredible inspirational meals in 3 minutes or less.

Shakespeare and Company Café

shakespeare and co Paris

When George Whitman opened his parisian bookshop, together there was always a second part of the project that never came to life. The Shakespeare and Company Café. That was until 2015 when his daughter Sylvia and husband David decided to make her dad’s dream become reality.
With spring season right on, if you happen to be in Paris, do make sure to visit the location. Bookshop and Café are right next to each other, same place where Whitman started it all. A visit to their website is also well worth it! Not only impacably cool but full of historical information too.
Vogue magazine made a delicious article about it! Read it on…

shakespeare and co old style

shakespeare and co location

shakespeare and co the famous lemon pie

Photo credits: Shakespeare and Company website

Fattoria di Statiano


A little family farm in the Maremma region of magical Tuscany that has been transformed in an Agritourism. They have horses, cats, chickens. They produce their own wine. Tina, the host, makes a mean seasonal fruit jam. Breakfast at Statiano is the best pampering to start off your day. Actually after having watched the sunrise. Totally worth waking up at 5:50/6am for such experience.
I did stay in one of the small houses where I had my own, fully equiped kitchen, which is always handy when you want to make a quick bite during the day, some italian coffee to brew in a vintage moka or even cook your owm meal. It was called Tiburzi. All rooms, small apartments and houses have a name. Tina and Paolo (her partner and host as well) cook and serve dinner upon request. They are delicious, very on the comfort side idea of a tuscan meal. Never without a glass of vin santo and some crunchy cantucci to wrap up your dinner time.
They are dog friendly. They have a swimming pool. There is an unbelivable silence. Only nature chats to you.
The location, Pomarance, is perfect to access Volterra, the sea side and beautiful drives to reach San Giminiano and Siena.
It was all I needed. Peace & quiet with some small adventures in between. Some days I didn’t even leave the farm. Books, sun, good food and amazing blue sky kept me company.
I can’t wait to visit Tina & Paolo at Fattoria di Statiano again very soon!




food shopping









sunrise sept

sunrise sept II



taste of tuscany

Statiano wine

grapes at Statiano

Sunset Tuscany

Fattoria di Statiano
56045 Micciano,
Pomarance (PI) Tuscany
Tel.: +39 0588.61153
Cel.: +39 338.5057879
Fax: +39 0588.61153
E-mail: info@agriturismostatiano.com