sabato 21 febbraio 2015

I am a real New Yorker... and I cook like an Italian Prima Donna - meet Caroline Chirichella of Magic&Pasta

credits to Magic&Pasta Facebook page. 

Forget about Serena Van der Woodsen, Carrie Bradshaw and the stylish New York portrayed by the holy-Hollywood, Caroline Chirichella is a true newyorker and she definitely knows how to live in the city like a “normal” person... a person with a lot of dreams and passions!
During our very long chat we talked about lyrical music (she's a an opera singer, you guys!), Italian and American lifestyle and, of course, food, one of her strongest passion which she shares with the world on her blog, La Cucina di Prima Donna.

Questa intervista è già stata pubblicata in Italiano lo scorso 16 dicembre, se vuoi leggerla clicca qui

This interview has been already published in Italian on December 16th, if you want to read this version, click here

How did you get the idea to create a blog? And why you chose the name “La Cucina di Prima Donna”?
The idea of “La cucina di prima donna” came up when I first arrived here in Italy in 2011, I was here to study Opera and I became so in touch with my italian roots!
I've always loved food, but being here and experiencing the people, the lifestyle, the culture inspired me to start taking notes, making travel journal, photos, publishing recepies and I chose the name “Prima Donna” because it is like the diva in the opera so it was basically inspired by what I was doing in that period of my life.

Italian recepies are the protagonists of your blog. How did your passion for Italian food is born?
I grew up loving food and I come from an Italian-American family and food has always been at the center. My grandma and my mother cook all the time and being surrounded by family always cooking... it's just natural. Even when I was very little I didn't want toys, I just wanted to play with food, making a fake restaurant and have fun. I've also always loved being in the kitchen with my grandma watching what she was cooking, and when she took me and my brother at McDonald's for food, I've always preferred her homemade pasta and chicken cotolette!

Do you think that Italy has something special than other countries?
Well, this is my fourth time here and I love the lifestyle, that I can't get in New York. In fact, when I 'm here for few months and go back to NY it's always difficult getting back to its lifestyle. In NY is always about business while here in Italy you can enjoy yourself, you can sit in piazza meeting new people, have fun and that's what I like most of the lifestyle. I also love the history, the art and, especially in a place like Florence, you can walk a block and see something beautiful, something so famous that you can recognize in pictures and you're seeing right in front of you and, for me I've always love that about Italy, it's unique in that way.

Is there any other cuisine that you love at the same level of the Italian, or more/less?
I love all cuisine. I do. I love chinese food, mexican food, spanish, but Italian has always been my favourite and it's my favourite to cook. The other I like to cook it's the Southern American cuisine, like the heavy-fried southern food, which could not be any more different that Italian cuisine so it's kinda fun and that's why I actually like combine the two.

I suppose that in NY, Italian ingredients are very hard to find, do you have a special store or a market in which you can find anything you need? And how much do you pay?
In New York authentic Italian ingredients are very hard to find, and when you find them, they are very expensive. We have Eataly where I shop when I really need something, but I try to support small shops, family business where you can find delicious sausage and mozzarella. In fact there's a place in Williamsburg that I go to that has Italian ingredients and it's run by an old man who his mother still makes eggplant parmigiana, I love it.

When you are in a store, how do you choose the ingredients?
In New York I can only be very picky because I really care about the quality and here in Italy it's much better. If I go to mercato and I buy a mozzarella, I am sure it has been made that morning while in NY I'm sure it was imported and it has been on a plane for at least ten hours. I like to touch, smell, feel the food and I try to take the purest because even the taste is different than the overprocessed food that you can find in America.

You've visited Italy several times, have you have tought about moving here for good?
Yes. All the time! And that's why I'm coming now, couple of months at the time, to start getting a feel of what it would be like. My intention for the future is to open a small ristorante in the south and officially moving here. I really hope!

Where do you think you will be in five years?
I wanna be living here, not necessarily Florence, maybe in the south, but I like the idea of travelling and see the beautiful things of Italy.

Do you have some advice for the beginners?
When you're starting something of any type, the number one rule is to have passion for it, you have to fully love it and commit yourself to it because, if it's something you don't really like, then it's gonna show in what you're putting out there and people are gonna know. It's the passion that push you further and get where you wanna be.

Do you have a fast & delicous recepies to share with us?
I have so many recepies! One of my favourite dishes is making wherever type of pasta you like with some red wine, radicchio, some panna and speck, that's I combination I love. Just boil some fresh pasta, put in the pan a little of red wine and some panna, reduce it so it gets little thick, and little splash of the pasta water and then speck and radicchio with salt & pepper... it's so good!

If you want to follow Caroline's adventure, you can “Like” her facebook pace “La Cucina di Prima Donna”, a lot of delicious recepies are waiting for you. If you want to book Caroline for one of your private events, visit her page Magic&Pasta

Thank you Caroline and in bocca al lupo for the future! 

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