Cristina Sciarra lets you into her home and her heart in The Roaming Kitchen. Filled with travel tales, enticing dishes and cozy cooking, you’ll love the tales and tribulations of this passionate foodie.
Describe your cooking style in three words: Seasonal. Balanced. Versatile.
What’s your signature dish? I am too excited, too distracted by the vastness of cooking, by seasonality and new ingredients, to have a signature dish yet.
What do you think is the most underrated ingredient? Probably vegetables as a whole, although this is changing. Poorly cooked, low-quality vegetables can of course be horrid, but not much compares to seasonal vegetables, prepared simply and well.
What’s the best cooking advice you’re ever received? This isn’t advice, per se, but I think Michael Pollan sums up precisely how we should eat on a day-to-day basis: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Simple. I also remember Julia Child’s attitude toward cooking, which was aspirational, but never too serious. “I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make,” she said. “Such admissions only draw attention to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, ‘Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!’ Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed—eh bien, tant pis! Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is.”
If you could share a meal with anyone in history who would it be? Perhaps this is a boring answer, but my favorite person to have dinner with is my fiancé. At home, he eats anything I put in front of him—even the experiments—and always gives an honest assessment. In restaurants, he lets me choose what we order, so I get to try twice as much. (He picks the wine.) I think I’d be too nervous to have dinner with the writers and cooks I really admire.
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