It is quite amazing how popular food tours and cooking classes are in Italy. When in Rome, many people seem to want to eat, and cook, like a Roman. Well, not entirely, and not like some Romans. I spoke to Francesca Flore, who offers both tours and cooking classes, and she reserved some choice words for those quintessential Roman dishes based on the famous quinto quarto, the fifth quarter of the carcass. Or, less obtusely, offal.
Francesca told me that she's always been interested in food, and that while working in London she decided to take herself off to Australia to study Cooking and Patisserie at the Cordon Bleu School in Sydney. Back in Rome, she put all that knowledge to use catering private parties and branching out into food tours and cooking classes.
We talked about what people want, what they get, and how she views the past and future of Italian food.
Francesca Flore’s flash website gives a taste of the food tours and cooking classes she offers.
The Mercato Central in Florence has a website that is way too groovy for its own good. And, wonderfully Italian, an undated entry at a site called Florence Online, tells us both that the upstairs is closed and that “the vendors appear to want to stay where they are” in a tent below.
Cover photograph, of Francesca supervising the sprinkling of icing sugar on cannoli, by Chris Warde-Jones for the New York Times.