August 8, 2007

Fabulous Feedback

I began my cooking school in Florence in 1988, teaching college students on their semester abroad program how to be Tuscan!

Shopping the markets,using fresh food and simple ingredients.

To spend more time shopping and less time cooking .

I am in this month's Food and Wine special edition on Italy, listed in the cooking schools section. Such a fabulous publication gets read by a lot of people and thanks to them, I get great feedback letters like the below!

Thanks Nancy!

hi, judy:

i was just flipping through my new food and wine magazine (my favorite: the annual "all italy" issue) and i saw you mentioned in an article on cooking schools in italy. i was so excited to see that you have a website and that i could get in touch with you! (and i'm thrilled to see that you have posted recipes!)

i took your student class series in summer of '92 with several other girls from my duke university art history program. the whole florence trip was wonderful, but it was your class that truly altered my life. not only did i learn fundamentals of cooking that i still use almost daily (olive oil and garlic are a part of nearly every meal i cook) but i learned the importance of buying locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. i have been reading about the slow food movement and have frequently thought about how i learned what slow food was way back when i learned to cook in your studio that summer. i'm now a busy, working mother of two kids (one is 6, the other is 10 months) but i always make time in my day to cook healthy, fresh, in season meals for my family. i also teach my family about what we are eating and where it came from. each spring since she was about 2, i have taken my daughter to a local organic farm to pick strawberries. during the rest of the year, she and my son accompany me to the farm's twice-weekly market to buy their gorgeous offerings. i want my children to grow up knowing where their food came from and learning what magical things they can make from really good ingredients. recently, my daughter brought home a school project where she had to write her favorite things about her parents. for me, she wrote, "i love my mommy because she cooks good food."

the love of food and ingredients that i learned from you in florence has made me a major advocate of organic agriculture and i recently found a way to apply this to my career as a textile designer. last year, i co-founded mod green pod a line of hand silkscreened home textiles, using organic cotton. i am the designer and creative director of the line. here is my website:

anyhow, i just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how important your classes have been to me, personally and even professionally. i hope to return to florence one day before too long and if i do, i would love to drop by and say hello. and if you are ever in austin, texas, let me know!

nancy mims

p.s. i'm attaching a photo of my beloved cookbook from your class. as you can see, it has been well loved over the years!! it is one of my most prized possessions.


  1. Wow, that's so sweet. As a teacher you have to wonder how well your lessons have stayed with your students over the years and whether you made any difference in their lives. How satisfying to find out you did indeed.

  2. Anonymous7:41 PM

    How can non-students get a cookbook??

  3. I am just about to take the book to the printers and offer it for sale on my website and blog.
    It will be ready in one month, when I return from my teaching tour in the states.

  4. Michael and I were so touched by Nancy Mims' comments about the influence you have had on her life (and obviously on her family). Indeed, we, "the elderly", feel the same way about you, and what you have taught us. Yay! Tomorrow our book arrives on "redelivery".