My name is Enrica and I’m the lady behind A Small Kitchen in Genoa.
For those who don’t know me, I’m a home cook and a compulsive collector of traditional recipes from my region, Liguria. I tell the stories of our local dishes through words and images and I teach people how to cook them.
I believe local traditions are like roots that ground us. That’s why I am so passionate about sharing our regional food and getting people to discover all the little groceries and delis that have fed generations of Genoese. In doing so, I hope I can protect them from the dust of time and even more so, from the aridity of globalisation.
I believe in authentic, seasonal foods, grown with love and in respect of the environment. I actively research and study local produce and Slow Food Presidia and tell the stories of the brave people behind them.
I appreciate the value of time, of living slow and engaging in activities speaking of love and care, like cooking. I was behind a stove as soon as I was tall enough to get to it and it was in the kitchen that my family taught me how love is best expressed through the food you prepare. Because sharing a meal is one of the most intimate things people can do and cooking is about taking care of others, it’s a true gift of generosity.
The recipes you find on the blog aren’t made for those who are in a rush. Some might be easy recipes, why not, but they’re never quick fixes and mostly are recipes that take some time, love and a little planning. We’re all short of time nowadays, I know. But once upon a time things were different and these recipes offer the opportunity of slowing things down a little.
Here you’ll find recipes I’ve seen cooked at home since I was a child, recipes gifted by friends who are cooks better skilled than myself, recipes stolen from an old lady I met while waiting to be served at the vegetable shop or recipes taken from one of the countless Ligurian kitchen books I collect. In all cases, they’re all tested over and over, written down (sometimes re-written) in a simple and detailed way.
If you want a taste of what’s all about, here’s the recipes archive.
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Curious how did I get here?
My journey started back in 2015 when I put a halt to a frenetic attorney career to try to understand where I wanted to go with my life. And when I caught my breath, a funny thing happened. I started to cook again for my family and I knew right there and then that the place where I wanted to spend most of my day was my kitchen. That’s when I decided that I had to start over beginning from food and cooking. From the cooking that nourishes you, the one that from early childhood has linked me through a thin invisible thread to the people I love.
So, I left disputes and ligations behind me and I centred my life around food, conviviality, sharing, research and discovery. Once I got started, I took up specialised kitchen courses, among which the one on Pesto al Mortaio (pesto made with a mortar) that led me, in 2016, to be among the finalists of the VI World Championship of Pesto al Mortaio.
In 2016 A Small Kitchen in Genoa was founded to tell – both in Italian and English – my personal journey through the culinary tradition of Liguria, a journey back in time to discover and cook the flavours and produce of our land and to reconnect with my origins.
In 2017 I opened my kitchen to students coming from abroad.
Today, in my home kitchen, I organise private kitchen courses tailored for an international audience. I love to share my passion for our history and our food with people who are enthusiastic, curious and interested. The warmth of the people and the cultural exchange that takes place during my lessons is a priceless gift I receive every time.
I also run food tours of Genoa for small groups (link) where we discover the local food scene exploring and tasting the day away.
As I dived deeper into food photography, obviously, this new adventure brought back my passion for taking photos. Today, I work with small food companies and local restaurants as a food photographer alongside my cookery school activity.
Some random things you might not know about me
I’m a proud mum of two beautiful children: Giorgio, 8 years old, who wants to eat only pasta with olive oil and fish (preferably if he caught it himself) and Elena, who is only 2, and would like to eat everything else.
I compulsively buy cookbooks: the gorgeous, big, heavy, loaded with images ones. Every time I bring home a new one, I promise I’ll cook at least 3 recipes from it, but most times I end up being satisfied by simply devouring them with my eyes and knowing they are sitting smug in my personal library.
I love antiques and old objects, those with a story to tell. I would take any time a chipped dinner set over a new Ikea one or granny’s linen embroidered tablecloth over a latest fashion immaculate one off the shelf of a high street shop.
I worry about our planet and I try to opt for eco-friendly solutions and responsible buying. I try to teach my children, our future, to love and respect the world that surrounds us.
I prefer to holiday in the mountains over the seaside but this is probably quite normal for those who are born with the sea in their eyes and carry it within, always.
Every Spring I commit to grow with my kids a vegetable garden on our sun-kissed balcony . We pour a lot of love and enthusiasm in the exercise and sometimes we are rewarded.
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