Authentic Italian Cuisine from the Heart

I was born in Piedmonte, the north-western part of the country around Turin. This is a region known for the natural beauty of the Alps and the bounty of food and wine. It was a perfect environment to learn to prepare the traditional dishes from family, my tutelage beginning at a very young age. 

 

I spent most of the time during my childhood with my grandparents, my grandmother was an excellent cook and at the tender age of 6, she began to teach me the traditional way to make pasta by hand.

 

My grandmother was a master with her rolling pin and pasta tools, she shared with me all the traditional recipes that today are mostly lost, unfortunately. I consider myself very lucky to be able to pass these lost treasures onto my guests through my private dinners and classes. 

 

Part of my family owned a farm in the Monferrato, the land of wine, where they raise their cows, they have their own fresh milk, vegetables and of course, the best wine in the area (moscato, barbera, dolcetto, nebbiolo, arneis). I would spend summers at the farm with my family, soaking up the sun and all being spoiled by the amazing food. My mother, also an amazing chef, traveled internationally for work and she loved to try to replicate the things that she liked abroad so we could taste them and share that experience with her, at home. Since she was often away, I enjoyed spending every Sunday morning cooking with her, like our little ritual, together (and she loved to do it listening to classical music, specifically Chopin - which I often have playing in my kitchen). I really think that her influence opened my mind to different cultures and built a strong curiosity in me. When I travel, the first thing I do is to look for authentic food, food tells almost everything about the history of a place and its habits.

 

I traveled a lot in Italy, always trying to learn new techniques and recipes. I had a strong connection with all the women in general, grandmothers, mothers, they shared with me all their little secrets or suggestions, we were learning always from each other. My father, a scientist as my mother, was really able to teach me everything about aromatic herbs, how to appreciate them, grow them and take care of them. I often use herbs for my guests that I grow in my own garden.

 

 

My parents were always careful in teaching me all the edible wild herbs and fruits, how to

recognize mushrooms, how to preserve fruits in form of jams, liquors, alcoholic sugar, how to dry herbs

and spices for the winter. My father also had a strong passion for wine (and I spent many days with him

bottling it in the basement, I will never forget the smell of the wine in that humid cold dark room, the

sound of it when spilling it out of the barrel, the smell of the corks, the paper and the labeling). My father diligently taught me this passion, building my palate to it, tasting it, pairing it with food.

 

I worked in little restaurants in Italy, where the attention to the customer was unique and where only fresh ingredients were used, often from their own fields. I try to bring this philosophy to the kitchen with me today, bringing in the best, freshest ingredients. 

@Dagostino.ele

Tel: 210-388-9481  |  Email: info@elendadagostino.com

© 2019 by Elena D'Agostino

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