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La Cuoca Calabrese -In search of stories

La Cuoca Calabrese

Chapter 2


Both bags are packed and my travel outfit picked out.  It’s a matter of hours now and I have the same mixed emotion about this trip as I do with all of them.  I love being there.  I hate getting there.


This time it’s business.  Business.  Doesn’t mean I won’t have fun. I mean, are you kidding me?  It’s Italy. It’s CALABRIA.  There’s important work to be done and questions to be asked and answered.  The last few months have been test-marketing for our Calabrian-based cooking school, and the all-important task of building a business and marketing infrastructure from scratch.  There’s been an amazing response. Individuals, groups of like-minded women, restaurant professionals, inveterate travelers…all have expressed a keen desire to come to Calabria and spend time with the people and the place.


Everything worthwhile is a matter of collaboration and here, again, is where we shine.  Everyone involved has achieved success in their own field.  All the elements were there.  It just needed a salesman with a solid idea of how to bring it all together.  As an American with a long career in the restaurant business, I feel that I, personally, understand the North American marketplace. I understand that there is a big difference between a "tourist" and a "traveler". Tourists dont go to Calabria...but ravelers do.


We always and perpetually have a lot to learn in life and I never pass up the chance to ask my guests/clients/customers what THEY think.  So, here goes:  Most of us, in this case,  of Calabrian descent, have vivid food memories from early in childhood.  Since I’m going back to do more research on the history and traditions of Calabrian cooking, what food origins are you interested in?  What are some recipes, half-faded in your memory from when you were a kid and how can I help fill in the blanks?


Ask me food related questions and I promise I’ll do my best to get answers. If I don’t know,  I’ll be talking to the nonne themselves and they’ve are the keepers of the flame.




-joe cairo




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