In Italian households, cooking is both a culinary and social experience, a valued custom, passed down with each generation. Growing up in an Italian household with a strong Italian lineage, I was raised to understand the customs and rituals that accompany food. At a young age you are taught to contribute to the custom, whether it is peeling potatoes, rinsing beans, or rolling dough, you learn to appreciate how each ingredient contributes to the dish. Everyone in the home plays a part in preparing a meal and collectively a shared experience is formed. Each ingredient is carefully picked to release just the right flavours, nothing about this process is haphazard. Aside from all the freshest of ingredients there's always one that truly quenches. That pinch of oregano in the tomato sauce, that perfect drizzle of balsamic that beads on each endive leaf, or those lusciously curled locks of Grand Padano on that already cheesy pizza. Each play on the indescribable adorations, rather a sensation only the taste buds can hold.
Here I document my appreciation for each ingredient that goes into some of the recipes I remember well as they played a big part in my upbringing. Each spread represents a recipe as a deconstructed dish and holds a personal memory of someone in my family. Food becomes more than its freshness and taste for Italians; it is both the social and intentional preparation of a meal through its individual components that turn into a treasured moment shared with good company. I raise a glass to pay homage to some of my cherished memories that found their way onto our dining room tables.