You Had Me at Pizza. Agostinis, the newest food offering at Kingston’s buzzing East Hotel,…
“As long as I can remember I have enjoyed food and cooking; I’ve always felt comfortable in the kitchen – it’s pretty much my favourite room in the house!”
Emiko Davies has loved cooking since she can remember; she has fond memories of learning to make scrambled eggs while visiting her Grandmother in Sydney.
“There was plenty of butter involved and I can still remember her advice: take it off the heat before the eggs are cooked…” Emiko adoringly describes her first memories in the kitchen and she still cooks her eggs the same way.
Emiko grew up in Canberra until she was 11, she then moved to Beijing with her family and later to America to study. She still visits the Nations Capital nearly every year.
“I used to (still do!) love going to the markets and places like the Fyshwick markets haven’t changed much since the eighties — darting between the sing-song call out of the vendors, getting slices of fruit to taste or a stick of cabanossi to munch on.”
Emiko speaks fondly of her Canberran memories. Sharing a memory many locals would relate to. Nowadays, she is amazed at how much the Canberra food scene has exploded and raves about the quality and diversity in the produce that can be found in and around the Nation’s Capital.
“Now you can get local black truffles as good (if not better) than what you find in Europe and some of Australia’s best wines.”
At 20 years old Emiko found herself studying printmaking in Florence, Italy, sparking a love affair with the city that would bring her back just four years later. It was during this time that Emiko met a handsome local and fell in love with more than just the city. The pair soon married and the rest was history.
Bigne’ di San Giuseppe | A pillowy soft Roman pastry, deep fried and filled with pastry cream — it’s probably a good thing that you only find these treats once a year for March 19, St Joseph’s day and Italian Father’s Day. Rather like their Neapolitan relatives, zeppole, these bigne’ are deep fried rather than baked, which keeps them fluffy and soft. Recipe coming to @food52 this week but if you can’t wait, @browsingrome and @memorie_di_angelina have recipe posts in their archives about these guys too!
Emiko is passionate about Italian food and how the culture, traditions and long history have influenced it.
“Some of my favourite Florentine recipes are the same today as they were 500 years ago! That amazes me.”
When Emiko speaks about Italian food it’s hard not to appreciate her fascination with the stories that are hidden behind old recipes. In Florence, meals are like pages from a history book, rich with the culture, tradition and old family secrets. There is great importance in sharing a meal, taking time out from a busy day and sharing the love and passion that has been stirred through a family meal.
“I love the Italian way of eating and treating food as something that brings people together — in Tuscany where I now live, family meals are important, we all eat together at lunch time as well as dinner time. Even in an office you don’t see people eating alone at their desks!”
With such a passion and respect for traditional and regional Italian cuisines, the recipes in Emiko’s debut cookbook ‘Florentine’ will take you straight to the cobblestone alleyways of Florence. The flavours will draw you in to your own Italian adventures and allow you to create your own memories with your family and loved ones.
Emiko invites you to join her at the launch of Florentine at 4pm this Saturday 12 March at Essential Ingredient in Kingston. There will be bit of a chat, a book signing and some exclusive tastings including wine, cheese and Frugii ice creams which have been specially made and are influenced by the recipes in the cookbook.
If you would like to join Emiko at this wonderful event, bookings can be made by contacting Essential Ingredient on (02) 6295 7148