Category Archives: Foodie Favourites

Valentine’s Cooking Class

Watch me LIVE tomorrow at 12pm on for a very special Valentine’s Cooking Class at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.

Stay tuned and  Buon Appetito!!!

#bertozziamerica #risoacquerello #oliomacchiozzi #iiclosangeles



And The Winner Is…

Congratulations to KIM WATKINSON, the lucky winner of a family-4pack free admission to the LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show, the West Coast’s largest baking and sweets expo.

Thank you all for entering the giveaway !!!

A special thanks to LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show .


LA Cookie Con & Sweets Show 2017 + Giveaway


Dear foodies and sweets enthusiasts, the 3rd Annual LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show Returns February 18-19!

The West Coast’s largest baking and pastry expo will take place February 18 & 19, 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. With nearly 50,000 guests expected throughout the weekend, sweets enthusiasts can enjoy free samples from over 275 local shops and national brands, meet their favorite foodie TV stars, watch baking demonstrations, and participate in hands-on workshops.

The LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show will be complete with five stages and classrooms for workshops focusing on Traditional Baking, Vegan/Gluten-Free/Paleo Baking, Cake Decorating, Cookie Decorating, and the Celebrity Guests stage. Attendees can also admire the incredible cake displays as part of the Decorator’s Showcase competition. 100% of the proceeds from the Decorator’s Showcase entry fees will benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.

Fun for the whole family, The Kids Zone will offer free face painting, cookie decorating, crafts, games and more.

Special Guests:

Duff Goldman of Food Network fame and Elise Strachan, Founder of My Cupcake Addiction, who has amassed over 10 million followers worldwide. Rosanna Pansino, New York Times best-selling author and creator of the show ‘Nerdy Nummies’, which airs on her YouTube channel Rosanna PansinoBurt Ward, known best for playing Robin in the Classic Batman TV series, will be speaking on stage about his career. He also created a healthy dog food company, Gentle Giant, that helps improve the health of your pooch through nutrition. Burt will also be bringing the 1966 Batmobile, which will be on display throughout the weekend. 

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be giving away a family -4 pack free admission for the  LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show .

To enter this giveaway, simply :


The winner will be choose randomly and announced on February 7th 2017.

The winner will be notified via email.

The prize will be sent via email.

You must be 21 years old to qualify for this prize.

Giveaway sponsored by LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show.


Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO Of Acetaia Boni


I’ve always been fascinated by those people who talk with such enthusiasm and energy about things they love and do and this is exactly what Romano Boni, owner of the Acetaia Boni, does while explaining us his amazing product(s) : The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO of Acetaia Boni.


The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is an aromatic aged vinegar made with only ONE ingredients : cooked grape must, mostly Trebbiano, Lambruschi, Pergola and Berzemino. Its color is dark brown, the texture is dense and rich, and the taste sweet and sour. It reaches the finest grades after being aged in successive casks made with different woods as oak, mulberry, chestnut, cherry, juniper and ash wood. The abbreviation “PDO” means that it has gained the Protected Designation of Origin status, and is aged for 12 to 25 years. A cheaper version denominated only “aceto balsamico di Modena” (balsamic vinegar of Modena) is available worldwide and it’s typically made with concentrated grape juice mixed with a strong vinegar, then coloured and sweetened with caramel and sugar. Another key feature of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is that it only comes packaged in a unique bottle for all the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar producers designed by the Italian designer Giugiaro. All bottles of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena are sealed with a serial number for traceability, the manufacturer’s label and the back label of the consortium. The two types (12 years old aged and 25 years old aged) are differentiated by the color of the cap of the bottle : red for 12 years and gold for 25 years.“Acetaia” is the place where the battery of casks are preserved and Acetaia Boni is a century-old Acetaia, located  in Solignano di Castelvetro, a small rural village near Modena (Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy). As soon as you enter the Acetaia Boni, Romano welcomes you with a beautiful smile and makes you feel at home.

One cannot understand well the history of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena without knowing the figure of the REZDORA, the woman who used to run the house in Emilia-Romagna region . She was cooking, cleaning and, above all. she was in charge of the “acetaie”, wooden barrels used to age the vinegar, often received in dowry or activated on the birth of a son or daughter. Above the biggest barrel of the battery you can see a cloth embroidered with the name the of the “rezdora” who took care of the vinegar.


The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena must be cooked in boilers and matured by a long acetification through natural fermentation followed by progressive concentration by aging in a series of casks made from different types of wood and without the addition of any other flavorings.


The experience of the 12, 25 and 50 years old aged Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Boni tasting is absolutely a “once in your life” thing to do. The vinegar-tasting consists in putting a couple of drops in the mouth, chew it for a couple of seconds then slowly swallow and feel the “magic” of the balsamic vinegar going through the throat. The older the better.


The Acetaia Boni is also home of a permanent exhibition of tools representing life in the countryside such as wooden boards, pans, kitchen tools, farm tools…



…and TRAGNI, the final recipients of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena before it ended on the tables to perfume the best foods of Modena, or to cure the sick.MODENA_ACETAIA BONI - 269

…and ancient books, documents and manuscripts that document the presence of balsamic vinegar since 1700, used as a remedy to relieve cough and sore throat.


This beautiful journey ended up with a delicious buffet made with traditional products from Modena and surroundings such as salame, ciccioli, Parmigiano Reggiano PDO and a very special treat, custard Ice-cream drizzled with a couples of drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Boni….absolutely delicious!!!


Other than Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.D.O., Acetaia Boni offers homemade honey-vinegar, jams, liqueurs, distillates and Saba (an ancient natural sweetener obtained by cooking the grape).

If you are planning to stay overnight before or after visiting Acetaia Boni,  I warmly recommend to stay and dine at Locanda del Feudo, a Charm & Relax Inn with a fine-dining restaurant on the hilltop of Castelvetro di Modena, a picturesque medieval village near Modena.

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A very special thanks to Romano Boni for sharing with us all the love and passion of his Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Of Modena PDO and  for the amazing vinegar-tasting, as well.

And a huge thanks to Maurizio OttO” De Togni – for these beautiful pictures.

Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses (PDO)


I wouldn’t be fair if I did not admit that this ham has become one of my favorite Italian food. I discovered this delicious product about 10 years ago while visiting Aosta Valley region (the uppermost corner of northwest Italy) and I had the privilege to enjoy it again during my recent trip in Italy.


The Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses is a raw ham spiced with mountain herbs, produced at an altitude of 1600 meters in the small village of Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, in the Gran San Bernardo Valley. The production of this precious ham dates back to the Middle Ages.

Its characteristic flavor is due to several factors:

– The mastery of the “Valdostani”curers, inherited from father to son.

– The dry climate

– The manual salting

– The spicing with juniper, thyme and mountain herbs of the Aosta Valley which gave this product a delicate and aromatic smell.

– The seasoning over a bed of hay.

– The boning with manual binding.

This unique and excellent raw ham earned the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the 1996.

The Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses  is usually enjoyed with the products of the local cuisine such as black bread, butter, honey and chestnuts.


To enjoy the Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses I warmly suggest:

– La Croix Blanche Restaurant

Strada Nazionale Del Gran San Bernardo, 10, 11014 Étroubles, Valle d’Aosta, Italy

– Prosciutteria Sous Le Pont de Bosses

frazione Predumaz Falcoz, 22, Saint-Rhemy-en-Bosses, Valle d’Aosta , Italy


I also highly recommend to visit the two enchanting medieval villages of Etroubles and Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses along the historic Via Francigena (the ancient road and pilgrim route running from France to Rome).




Photo by Maurizio “OttO” De Togni & Ale Gambini –

Mercato Comunale Di Milano (Milanese Indoor Market)


The indoor markets are a staple of the city of Milan (Italy). This is the Mercato Comunale Prealpi, one of the many indoor markets in town; with about 15 family-owned stalls it offers a large variety of fresh produce, meat, fish, fresh bread, pastries, cured meats, cheeses, pre-prepared gourmet foods and much more. One of the thing I love about indoor markets is the friendly atmosphere that reigns as soon as you enter the gates, chat with the vendors and ask for cooking tips is always a pleasant must. The majority of the shops are owned by the same family from decades, the quality of the products is high and the prices are reasonable and affordable.

The city’s oldest and largest indoor food market is located in Piazza Wagner, just outside the city center near of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is held Monday through Saturday from 8.30 am to 1pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 15.30 to 7:30pm; 19 stalls of mouthwatering food and quality stuff.

I highly recommend to all those who are visiting Milan, to stop and shop at the nearest indoor market to breathe a bit of authentic Milan.

Buon spesa e buon appetito!!!







Photo by Ale Gambini –

Holiday Season In Italy


Finally I’m in Milan (Italy) to spend Christmas with my beloved family. During my stay I’ll have the privilege and pleasure of visiting Parma, the Italian Capital of Gastronomy as well as other gastronomic cities of Emilia Romagna region (Reggio Emilia, Modena, Zibello); I’ll see, smell and taste the outstanding products of the Italian tradition. My journey will also include the visit of small and precious little “gems” like Lake Orta (a beautiful lake in northern Italy west of Lake Maggiore) and Valle d’Aosta Region, places full of history, art and amazing food. But first of all I’ll enjoy my hometown Milan, the city where I was born and raised, the city of my roots and memories. I’m gonna visit my favorite spots in town and I’ll try to discover some new.

Stay tuned and let the Holiday Celebrations begin !!!