Jorge insist that good surgical results should not look post surgical but the patient should look well rested. His patients returning to the States would give the usual answer to questions of their improved looks that it is our wonderful extra-virgin olive oil produced on the farm. I love it. Needless to say, it helps in my sale of our olive oil.One night with 25 people around the dinner table a call came from a friend from the States. The speaker phone was on loud since Francesco has a hearing problem. Delayed in answering, while serving dinner quests, I was shocked into silence when the party on the phone yelled out, ,” Lucy, “I know xxx had a facelift. Don’t give me that s…. about your organic olive oil. It may be good, but not that f—good. Tell Jorge I will be coming for a few gallons of your liquid gold. I want to have what shes got.
We sell lots of our organic olive oil to our guests when they return to the States and tell their friends that their glow and twinkle lines are because of our extra virgin oil. It can’t be surgery, of course not!! We have a 500 and 1500 liter tanks of our liquid gold, Lots to help all with their wrinkles, if you believe it.
Never did I realize when seeing a guest shortly after arriving from France, scrub down our kitchen table, that he had plans to cut up and serve 5 kilos of fresh raw tuna which he brought to serve “sulla tavola” His preparation fantastic that I doubt I could ever duplicate.
Crazy but fun Jean Claude made sure we all ate well with his gifts from France along with music, lots of laughter and great food prepared by him.
On another visit when guests had the main house, he prepared in the back outdoor kitchen, which we use when the house is rented, his favorite dishes of calamari in the black ink sauce. Fun into the wee hours of the morning, acting like kids, we relished the delicious dishes of calamari, and painted our faces having fun with the ink.
When my husband and I retired for the evening, we tip- toed to our room so as not to disturb the guests. Although it was past 2 am the guests were still enjoying themselves and not in their private rooms. Their strange questioning looks as we wished them good night, had us concerned until looking into the mirror and realizing that we had not removed the ink from our painted faces. You might expect this from kids, but not adults in their 70’s.The next morning we had to explain that we were not inebriated, not chimney sweepers not coal miners, but just regressing to child like fun since our parents never allowed us to finger paint our faces as kids. Must say the squid in ink sauce that Jean Claude prepared was fantastic, worth every embarrassment of the evening.
Another one of my favorite food artisans is the Slitti family, makers of chocolates as done years ago. I had no idea that the the basement of a coffee shop in our neighborhood was also the setting of a chocolate making kitchen, until hearing the announcement that they were the winners of the Medaglia d’oro Concorse International di Ciocolaterie in 1993. This was followed by the Slitti’s winning the International Grand Prix of Chocolates in Paris in 1994. A wonderful relationship developed with the Slitti’s and soon their spotless hospital like kitchen became the location for our chocolate cooking classes.
In 1996 when they won the Olympics of Chocolate in Berlin they became known as one of the most prestigious artisan chocolate makers, in the world. Andrea Slitti having won some 30 awards internationally and traveling extensively, left little time for our cooking classes. I and our many class attendees are very pleased that we were able to have this experience of chocolate making in his kitchen before his fame left little time for classes. The family is in the process of building next to their coffee shop a chocolate shop and kitchen where hopefully future classes can be held.