Something about me
Although I was not born in Italy, some people like to call me ‘Chenzo’. This nickname probably has something to do with my deep-rooted delusions of Italia – my wholehearted love for Italy and it’s wonderful cuisine, which I simply can’t help cooking. I have always been one of those fundamentally hungry people, someone in a state of permanent longing to feed, who secretly thinks of time in terms of X hours till the next meal. But, what I always crave most of all, is pasta – in all shapes and sizes, but always gargantuan portions. For the last few years, I have cooked and studied the fascinating history of Italian cuisine and my relationship with Italian food has taken on new personal significance. This happy indulgence has become an almost limitless source of peace and pleasure in my life. I have become an experienced and obsessive cook of regional Italian cooking from Piemonte to Puglia, and now I’m itching to share some of my favourite recipes, ideas and personal passions.
However, three years ago I was suddenly diagnosed with with a chronic neurological pain condition. This frustrating ‘complex regional pain‘ problem has since become progressively worse and severe pain has recently prevented me from continuing work and my university degree. Sadly, this means that I can no longer do many of the things I did enjoy, including travelling around my beloved Italy. This all feels overwhelming and often can feel quite scary, but I stay hopeful of the future still. I now seek comfort in my little 90s kitchen in Northern England. From here, I am able to appreciate the evocative magic of preparing and tucking into traditional Italian food more than ever – that wonderful ‘Proustian effect’, which can transport us back to some sun-soaked piazza in Mantua, or those unforgettable Sienese hills from a childhood holiday, just by cooking and tasting certain foods intrinsically connected with special places in our memories and imaginations. So, for me, a big part of cooking is setting off on miraculous table-top travels and culinary adventures. Unfortunately though, I do find it difficult to write and express myself now with this soul-sapping condition, but I hope to continue sharing stories and experiences of food and cooking, and of course feasting with others as often as possible, which for me remains one of life’s richest pleasures.
Something about my cooking
Whilst you’re unlikely to find an own-branded chain of over-conceptualised ‘Chenzo’s Italian’ restaurants near you, my very personal fascination with Italian cuisine and culture has completely taken-over my life; I seem to have spent more time studying pasta and the providence of particular peperoncini in recent years than my university degree. So for the last two years, whilst sometimes studying and travelling across Italy, I have giddily cooked and guzzled up a different dish of pasta or risotto every day, chronicling my way to pasta mastery on my instagram. Now, 750 piatti later, I am aching under the weight of so many interesting meals I need to share, stories to unload and, of course, opinions to vent.
I clearly do not accept advertising or paid for content for this blog (though I confess – I haven’t been offered). The posts and opinions presented are mine alone.