More about Katia Amore
I was born in the South-East of Sicily, in Modica, and grew up just 20 minutes away - in my dad's town, Ispica. I studied in Venice then moved to the UK, where I lived for several years working as a university researcher in ethnic relations. In 2004 I decided to return to Sicily and follow my passion for food making my dream come true: restoring my grandparents house and starting a cookery school.
From 2010 to 2015, I was the editor of Italy Magazine and used my first-hand knowledge of Italy to give the magazine's international readers an authentic taste of 'all things Italian', with food obviously taking centre stage!
With my cuisine I want to take people through a journey into the history of Sicilian traditional recipes, using the wealth of quality ingredients the island has to offer in both traditional and contemporary Sicilian gastronomy. But, above all, a journey through a family's passion which spans a minimum of four generations, and which I am trying to pass on to the fifth one, my children Sofia and Leonardo.
I am not a trained chef, but food has always been a central element in my family.
It was always about quality, taste and conviviality.
My grandfather, Maresciallo Giovanni, used to go to the market every morning, choose the ingredients he fancied, then send the shopping home, where grandma Elvira and her two sisters, Maria and Esterina, looked forward to discovering what they would have to cook for the day. Few hours later, the entire neighborhood was having a taste of whatever had been prepared for lunch.
Food was (and still is) all about the joy of sharing.
My 'nonna' did not cook just traditional Sicilian recipes, she loved experimenting with other regional or international recipes and passed on to her daughters and granddaughters her passion for food, her love for traditional Sicilian recipes and her curiosity for new ingredients and flavours. I found my grandmother's preciouse cooking notebooks during the restoration of the house, and they are an incredible source of inspiration during my cooking lessons as well as in my everyday cooking. Her notes show very clearly how there is not a 'single traditional/original recipe' but endless versions of every dish that we consider part of our food culture, so scribbled on bits of recycled paper or carton, you find 'aunty Peppina's cassate', 'signora Marietta's parmigiana', 'commare Castaldini's chocolate cake'...
I want people to learn about Sicilian food while having fun.
I run my classes in English, teaching some classic Sicilian recipes, my family's specialties and some of my own creations based on research and love for local quality ingredients. Enjoying Sicilian food and each other company in the kitchen, is the main aim of my lessons, which are accessible to everyone.