Ciao! My name is Gioia, I have lived in Venice all my life. I belong to a Venetian family. Cooking is my passion (Italian cuisine in particular) and after taking a degree in psychology, I have been busy studying the tight connection between food and well-being. I have worked in journalism and photography but then passed on to working for non-profit cultural tourism. I have learned how to programme an html and how to set up websites, and have worked for marketing webs and in public relations and have also run a B&B.
Some time ago, a friend of mine happened to contact me asking if I could help her to plan and prepare a buffet for an event due to take place in a small private art gallery in Venice. I accepted and cooked for 50 guests all by myself. It was a success and I received so many compliments that since then my life has taken a turn. I have spent many Saturdays and Sundays at home, cooking for friends’ birthdays and private parties. I then decided to invest in something solid and useful for my future and so founded Cooking&Travelling, combining my knowledge of Italian cuisine and of Venetian culture.
HOW I LEARNED THE SECRETS OF ITALIAN COOKING
I learned how to prepare Italian cuisine by observing my mother (a housewife) and my grandmother cooking and now I’m using all their secrets. When I was little I used to help in the kitchen, washing the fresh vegetables and peeling tomatoes in order to make home-made sugo. I also took care of the herb plants, such as basil and rosemary that used to grow on our kitchen windowsill. The beautiful aroma of the herb plants are impressed unforgettably in my memory. Wherever I have lived, I have always had pots of plants of mint, basil, thyme, marjoram and rosemary in my kitchen.
MY APPROACH TO ITALIAN CUISINE
All of my dishes are made from fresh ingredients bought from the local market. I love experimenting new dishes and never judge without tasting them. I do not follow trends of the moment but I am a very responsible consumer. Fully aware that high quality food is generally more expensive, I also know that spending too much money to obtain fully satisfactory results is not always necessary.
I have recently started the Italian Sommelier School, a 3-year training course, to learn about wine and to be able to distinguish the excellence of Italian wine, its history, the culture behind it and its production.
There are just a few rules I apply when I’m cooking. I use seasonal products and herbs to add flavour and I do not bind too many ingredients together. When the dish is cooked and ready it must have a distinct taste. Good wine is an essential item on the table.
Cooking for me also means enjoying food with the people I love. I very often have guests at home and good wine is never missing. I am a sunny person and I love company. Friends contact me all the time whenever there is a party to plan.
I live in Venice, in a charming area named Dorsoduro close to campo S. Barnaba. I know every single corner in Venice and I take part in many cultural events which Venice offers, with my friends. I do not neglect doing exercise and sport.
Venice is a city built in water and I have a very strong bond both with its lagoon and its sea. I can row and as a matter of fact, I can actually row like the gondoliers. I learned the typical technique called Voga alla Veneta and I often row along the canals in a wooden boat with my friends. In the summer, I go to the Lido where I enjoy going to the beach, fishing and sailing.
HOW I WORK
I am a helpful person – cordiality and respect are my way of dealing with people – and am meticulous and punctual. When working I am committed but I do not turn down having fun. I can get carried away by enthusiasm, but if needed, I am right back and down to earth within a couple of minutes. Who relies on me will not be disappointed, I am self-employed and totally responsible for all the facilities I offer. I reply to every single e-mail and provide services via skype on appointment, and am available to answer any questions or doubts.
For me, the best way of enjoying a peaceful holiday is to have a precise idea of who you are dealing with. This is why I avoid any form of anonymity.
I hope this has given you an idea of who I am and how I work!