I was born in the heart of Harringay, North London and was blessed to have grown up in a family of cooks and tailors who immigrated to the UK from Sicily in the early 1970s. Ever since I can remember, Green Lanes has been a busy shopping street, but not as we know it today. Walking through the streets in the hands of my mother and late father I always remember the beautiful tall Victorian buildings and the greengrocers who always put on a huge welcome when I came running in. We would have everything we needed when we walked back to our house on the corner; from shoes, fresh bread, vegetables, to fish and chips and on the long tedious Saturdays when Mum would drag me into the haberdashery shop, all of her supplies for making wedding dresses. In over 35 years I have witnessed many of the changes in the area including its famous dog track turning into a Sainsbury's, and it has been amazing to have seen it all. Some of the old fashioned beauty still remains, now with a great choice of Turkish, Kurdish, Polish, Chinese and British restaurants.
I always remember being a very excited boy with a little belly standing on the table chair watching my family cook. My father was a great cook who used to experiment with all kinds of ingredients. When he first arrived in the ‘70s he worked in restaurants all over southern England. I loved watching him cook and tasting his delicious meals. My sister has also been a keen baker since she was at school and I still remember the smell of the cakes as they were rising in the hot oven, especially the marble cake. Mum is more traditional and made authentic Sicilian recipes handed down to her from her mother. Like nearly all Sicilian families, food plays a huge part in our lives, especially when we all get together. There was always a little unspoken competition with our cousins who worked in the catering business, but each had their own unique way of cooking and I was completely happy to eat every last bite.
My love for food grew as I did and I started to try different cuisines when I discovered travelling in my twenties. After living in New Zealand for a few years, I was inspired to do something to do with food. I knew I didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of my family and work in a restaurant, but I wanted people to enjoy and experience my feasts. Sharing food brings people together and there is no better feeling than seeing a smile of satisfaction on somebody’s face after they have eaten a fantastic plate of your food.
I’ve always written my recipes down, yet I never managed to collate them all into one place. About a year ago I started posting photos and recipes on Instagram and then a friend pestered me to think about sharing beyond my followers. So I thought it was time to start a blog which is really exciting. I can now spend quality time sharing my love for food with others, so here it is.
The collection of the recipes you will find here don’t follow any kind of tidy theme but really reflect a mashup of my life, family, heritage, friends and experiences. They’re my take on many traditional recipes I grew up with and ones I’ve discovered along the way. So hopefully you will find something to suit every palate. My recipes are influenced by many cuisines, because to me, everything should be enjoyed and rules were made to be broken. Because I love to try new things in all areas of my life, limiting myself to one type of cooking would not keep me challenged.
What I try to focus on and hopefully what you can expect from my recipes in most cases, is the ease of making delicious meals. I’d also love it if my recipes inspired people to be more experimental themselves in the kitchen. Use me as a guide, let your imagination run wild and add your own flavours. If it doesn’t work, you know not to try it again, but that’s the only way we find out what we do and don’t like.
My partner is my rock and number one fan who loves to try out my latest recipes and experiments and always gives an honest review! It is also important to me that my friends and family get to try everything I’ve created. I love to host great dinner parties and BBQ’s and have the family and friends over at the weekends for a catch up and a feast .
Cooking has certainly been my therapy for many years, especially after a stressful day and more recently since the loss of my father. I actually get excited about the whole process; from ingredient shopping, setting up the kitchen and then putting together a feast. I am my own worst critic though (as many of us are) and if it isn’t good enough for me, then I won’t think it is good enough for you. Luckily I won’t share the disaster recipes!
I’m self-taught and learn best by trying new ideas in the kitchen every day. My work background is quite varied and I currently work in the world of construction. Living in London means I make the most of what it has to offer and enjoy discovering the many interesting and unique restaurants that we have here. And when food or good wine is not on the menu, then I do enjoy photography, gardening and long walks.
I'm dedicating this website to my late father who loved cooking and gave me the inspiration to write, teach and share my love for food.