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WEEK 205 MENU: February 20-25, 2024

Sicily in Bloom Beautiful almond trees adorn the Sicilian countryside and are the first to blossom in late February filling the air with an overwhelming scent and promise of Spring. The Valley of the Temples, just outside the southern town of Agrigento is the site of the annual Almond Blossom Festival celebrating Spring’s arrival and the miracle of life. This week we taste our way through the rustic but ever beautiful (and flavorful!) Sicily all the while paying homage to the fruit of everlasting love and eternal hope - the almond.

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WEEK 204 MENU: February 12-18, 2024

LOVE LETTER TO ITALY – Let me count the ways… We have visited 19 of Italy’s 20 regions. From the industrial and fashionable North to the warm and rustic South, it is a delightful mélange of contrasting energy. It is slightly smaller than the state of California, but it delivers a range of landscapes, cuisines, customs, and cultural heritage that is hard to match anywhere else in the world. If I had to use one word to describe her, it would be "bellezza", beauty. Architecture, art, music, literature, fashion, nature and food are all extraordinary everywhere you go. To celebrate Italy's culinary diversity, this week our menu takes from the entire peninsula, from north to south and the islands.

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WEEK 203 MENU: February 6-11, 2024

Carnevale - When Anything Goes “A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale!” Have you ever wondered why we wear masks for Mardi Gras / Carnevale? Throughout history, this time of year was known as a time of abandon and excess. Disguised behind masks, one could banish imposed restraints and give in to the human foibles of sexual and gastronomic orgies. Traditionally, at this time, rules and customs went out the window, social divisions were eliminated, and it allowed people to poke fun at the aristocracy. The word “Carnevale” comes from the Latin, “carrum levare” meaning “take away meat”. Throughout the centuries, it was shortened to “carne vale” / good-bye, meat! For Christians, it represented the last moments of indulgences, the last great party, before the strict restrictions of Lent....

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WEEK 202 MENU: January 31 - February 4, 2024

VALLE D’AOSTA – Welcome Travelers Valle d’Aosta, bordering France and Switzerland to the west and north, has long been the connector between central Europe and the Italian peninsula. It is the place where people travel on their way to somewhere else. The locals have welcomed travelers since Roman times and have established a culture of hospitality. Travelers are given the same warm welcome now as they were then. The Valdaostani are welcoming and generous people, always eager to share their hearty mountain food.  It is the place where cultures meet and eat. Valle d’Aosta shares food styles with Alpine France and Switzerland. Its cuisine is simple, based on fresh ingredients from the mountains, streams, and plush valleys. Our menu this week will...

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SUPERBOWL FRIED CHICKEN MEAL: Sunday, February 11, 2024

Superbowl Fried Chicken Meal At our little Trattoria in Tuscany we were famous for our "Pollo Fritto," - fried chicken. The Florentines would drive out to visit us in the country on the weekends and we would always sell out. I am proud to say that my American friends and customers (even those from the South!) seem to have also fallen in love with my recipe so I am starting a new tradition.  On Sundays I will be frying up my recipe -- this time for the Washingtonians -- and for Super Bowl Sunday you can buy it in buckets!

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