About the Kitchen
Unsurprisingly, for us the kitchen is the most important room in the house, the classroom for our lessons, the tasting area where we try extra virgin olive oil, wine, cheese, bread, etc, the stage for our food creating experiences, the laboratory where we research both old recipes and modern ones, and above all, the "salotto" where we engage in wonderful conversations sharing our thoughts and ideas about food and much more.This is why it is a spacious (over 30 sqm), well equipped kitchen, designed with the purpose of creating a warm welcoming experience for our guests.
Her "Majestic" cooker
We have a great ILVE Majestic cooking block with 4 hobs, fry top, a spacious 90cm oven and a cooker hood with 2 infrared spotlights to keep food warm. There are 3 more hobs on the 3mx1m central island which are ideal for demonstrations.
An old tile was the true source of inspiration for the whole look of the kitchen.At the beginning of the restoration process, we found one of the original tiles of my grandmother's kitchen, hidden under some 1970s tiles. As soon as my mother saw it, childhood memories about family life in the kitchen began to flow. We knew that piece of tile should have been the starting point for a new kitchen in the house and from this tile we began our research and planning phase.Some research revealed that they were cement based Neapolitan tiles from the XIX, a time when the use of cement started a very first form of industrial tiles production. We also found a company in Tuscany which had in store 21 of the same tiles, but we needed many more than those. Luckily, Caltagirone, a town famous for its ceramic artists, is just an hour's drive from Modica. That is where we found Francesco Contarino and his wife, two true artists, who turned a cement dark tile in a terracotta masterpiece where the vibrant, simple magenta decorations bring the XIX century atmosphere back to life.
In order to combine the requirements of a practical kitchen with a warm and homey look, we chose quartzite as a material for the countertops. Quartz is found in great abundance in the earth—being only second to water as the most common mineral-based form on our planet. Each company, all over the world, uses the same process to manufacture their countertops, which was originally patented by Breton, an Italian company. Quartz is naturally hard, scratch and stain resistant, and stronger than granite. Moreover, a quartz surface is solid and remains impervious to water, moisture, or bacteria. Some companies in the USA even had their tops certified by the National Sanitation Foundation International for use in commercial kitchens. Similar to granite in look, it comes in a huge variety of colors, we chose an elegant brown to match the decor of the hand-made Caltagirone tiles.
The Chest of drawers
The walnut chest of drawers in the kitchen is a piece of family history, it belonged to my Great-Great-Grandmother and it still has her initials on the left side AV, Assunta Viviani. It was passed on to me by aunty Esterina, one of my grandmother's sisters, who spent with us the last 20 years of her life and passed away at the age of 100.
The Terrace and the herbs corner
The kitchen has a door that leads you directly to the terrazza with its wonderful view of Modica's historical centre. Just outside the door, a great selection of herbs, which, depending on the season, include the classic basil, thyme and rosemary as well as pineapple sage, orange thyme, Moroccan mint and many others.