Why Tuscany? More importantly, why Barga? That’s easy:
I was born and raised in Scotland. In 1986, my husband and I decided to move to Barga, Tuscany. So, along with our two small children, we moved to Barga and opened our restaurant. Six years later, we added a hotel to our restaurant which we called La Mezzaluna, which means the half-moon in English.
My grandparents and my parents originated from Barga. It was because of this family connection that I spent all my childhood holidays in the Tuscan sun. Each holiday, I was immersed in authentic Italian culture and lived each day as a native Italian. The afternoons were spent sitting outdoors eating lunch at a long table where I would sneak the odd sip of wine when I thought no one was watching. I’d play, and fight, every day in the sun with my brothers. As I grew older, I’d watch and learn the cooking skills of Tuscany from my Nonna.
My Grandparents lived on a farm with a single cow, some chickens and some rabbits. I have comical, memories of learning how to milk the cow. My Nonno would sell the milk to the local villagers while my nonna made fresh bread, cakes and pasta. It was during these many visits to my grandparents’ place that I learned a lot of the techniques of traditional Tuscan cooking.
Barga is referred to as “The most Scottish town in Italy” and is renowned for being one of the most picturesque in all of Italy. Following the demise of the silk industry during the early 1900s, many of the Barga people were forced to emigrate to build a better life. Many went to Scotland and worked in fish & chip shops, ice-cream shops or restaurants. So, food and cooking have been in my family for generations. It’s a tradition that I am proud to continue.
I ran my restaurant for 28 years before I decided to change direction by opening up my cooking school – Cook & Dine Tuscan Style.
During your stay on my cooking courses, you will learn the basics, and some secrets, of true Tuscan cuisine. We will cook together, while we share stories, swap ideas and have a glass of wine.
Please browse my website and feel free to contact me if you would like further information.