the family, plus few
Then there was this other typical Italian trade that runs in our family: making sure you have enough food to feed the family and the village. My mother always cooked for our family of 5, plus a few extra. Unexpected guests would regularly pop around and without exception, they would be offered to share a meal with us.
When I turned 18 and moved out of the house, I found myself living in a tiny room with an even smaller kitchen in Amsterdam. I was so used to cooking for a large number of people that during the first few months I would continuously end up with food for roughly 6 people instead of 1.
Living in Italy now, I have continued this tradition and often bring food to neighbours, friends or share it with la famiglia.
I think there’s just no better present then a nourishing home cooked meal waiting for you after a long day.
basically food is always on my mind
I get up with the thought of breakfast, and whilst I’m enjoying that, I think about the dishes that I am going to create for lunch and dinner.
Holidays that we take are always pretty much centered around food. Before I have even looked at flights or hotels, the restaurants are already booked. And when I reminiscence with my sisters or husband about trips we took together, it’s all about the food we tasted and the restaurants we visited.
So now you might wonder why I didn’t start a restaurant but instead a company that makes ready-to-eat food.
Well that’s pretty simple: there are a lot of amazing restaurants and a lot of even better chefs.
What I wanted to do instead, is create something that brings value to people in a different way. By creating something that I was missing myself, and I am sure other people have a need for too:
Ready-to-eat food that is as healthy and tasty as an Italian home cooked meal. Ready-to-eat food without compromises.
one step back
Let me take you one step back to explain to you where my need for tasty and healthy ready-to-eat food comes from.
After my student years in Amsterdam, I entered into the corporate world. Whilst I was travelling around the world, working as a global communications director, I found it one of the most frustrating things: not being able to find ready-to-eat food that is not a compromise in taste and health. Travelling and working long hours is taxing enough as it is on your body, the last thing you want is food that only slows you down more.
I came across a lot of products, such as energy bars, that would sell an energy boost but do the exact opposite.
Packed full of sugar, they would induce the infamous sugar spike effect and leave me feeling drained.
I was always in search of ready-to-eat food that would be just simply tasty and nourishing, the way I would make it at home. Instead I found products with unpronounceable ingredients and questionable nutritional values.
The ritual of shopping, cooking and eating is an existential part of life, it is not a necessary means. So you take the time to do all three, with care and love.
You do your shopping at different stores where you will find the expert in each field: the butcher, fishmonger and baker. They all know you by name and will advice you on their best ‘catch of the day’.
By no means am I now a traditional Italian cook that only makes pasta and homemade bread. I love to combine the food knowledge I have picked up over the years from all the different cultures and countries I’ve visited. On my table you will find dishes from all over the world, combing the most interesting spices and fresh seasonal ingredients.
I grill Italian aubergines marinated in miso, date syrup and lemon from the Amalfi coast. My fish from the oven is served with grilled fennel, seasoned with kardamon and slow roasted red unions coated in a few drops of sweet soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
Whilst I adopted the Italian philosophy of eating as my own, I still had the issue of time on my hands, or better said, the lack thereof.
I was getting even more spoiled when it came to fresh tasty food and less willing to compromise.
I found some smart ways of cooking, such as preparing things ahead of time and cooking in batches where possible, but I also dreamt of finding ready-to-eat food for those days or meals when I really didn’t have the time to cook myself.
After lots of research into the food industry it seemed impossible: creating ready-to-eat food that is as good as a home cooked meal, without it costing a fortune and possible produce on a large scale.