January 15, 2009

Yes we can!

2009 is going to be Fabulous! It was in 1984, when I bought a one way ticket to Europe, to improve my food knowledge of Italian cuisine. I had been working as a pastry chef at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco, starting as a cashier, then waitress ( where the money to travel came from) and finally got a position in the pastry department and food became my life!

I had studied French in school, which never seemed to help much when I was in Paris, but having a French grandfather, and some language as well as learning mostly French cuisine, it seemed natural to move to France.

My roommate , Kathy said the magic words; " Judy, you will love Italy and Italy will love you!"
She had just returned from living a year in Paris and a year n Rome. She knew.

When arrived in Florence, it was love at first site. All that was missing to make it perfect would be to be closer to the sea. First on my schedule was to learn Italian. I was pleased that my knowledge of French helped here. It took quite awhile before I could talk like and adult, but that didn't stop me.

A year later, I met Andrea, the love of my life!

Now, 25 years later, we live in Certaldo, out in the hills between Florence and Siena. I can see San Gimignano from my bathroom window!

I closed the teaching space in Florence and am offering more 3 day programs in Tuscany and weeklong programs all over Italy to celebrate my anniversary of moving to Italy.

Yes we can!

Last year I did my first tours in Sicily and have a new love! I am organizing new tours there for June and again in October for the olive harvest and new oil!

In honor of my arrival in France and then moving on to Italy- My friend Rosa Jackson and I are looking at a Nice to Torino week. Nice was part of Italy and Torino was French so the contrasts are really facinating and the food and wines incredible!

In February I will be on the West Coast teaching and cooking.
I hope you can join me!

Here is the currant schedule: stay tuned for more changes.

Feb 12,13 and 14th- Ramekins Cooking School- Sonoma

Feb 15 and 16th -Arroyo Vista Inn B&B and cooking school- Pasadena

Feb 19- guest chef Angeli Cafe in LA call 323 936 9086. to reserve $65 a person.

Feb 21- Cavallo Point Cooking School- Sausalito

Feb 22 - Slow Food Dinner in Marin ( members only)

Feb 25 - Cooks, Pots and Tabletops Cooking school- Eugene Oregon

Feb 27 and 28- Diane's Market Kitchen- Seattle

March 1 - Cooking and Lifestyle Center at Thrifty Foods- Vancouver Island


  1. Wow that is a fascinating story..Well done..:-)

  2. Diva-I would love to come to your Pasadena class. Where can I get the info?

  3. I would love to come down and cook with you. I visit Italy several times a yera, but always have so much on my scedule.....

  4. to book classes,click on the link and contact the place directly!
    hope to see you!

  5. So glad you shared your story and are celebrating your silver anniversary with nice changes indeed. I worked in Casole d'Elsa back in 2001-02 and someone I met in Florence mentioned you and your school under a different name. I so wanted to check out your school, but was on my way out the door. Only found your blog a few months ago have enjoyed your travels and posts. I'm up in the province of Torino in the mountains and would love to hear more about your plans for up here and if I can be of any help.Sounds like 2009 is off to a good start for you! Brava!

  6. Priscilla11:04 PM

    Diva, This is winderful. That IMAGE OF YOU. Algo Fantastico. You'll love Cavallo Point if you haven't see it yet. So when are you coming East? Priscilla

  7. Tanti Tanti Auguri!! Brava Baby!!!
    But no New York. :--(

  8. Yeah, baby, the Diva was doin' it before anyone else knew there was a Tuscan Sun.

    All this and and a new book too?

    Via ciccia, vai cocca, EVVIA!

  9. Auguri in your first 25 years and may there be many more fun and successful ones! xx

  10. I didn't realize you lived in Certaldo - the home of Boccaccio! We visited there years ago. Sounds like a nice life.

  11. Judy: We have never met but I have enjoyed your blog for a while. We were in Sicily in September and had a great time (see http://jccwine.typepad.com/sicilia/) and I enjoyed hearing about your recent trip. Also glad to hear you will be here in the San Francisco area -- we have just signed up for your course at Cavallo Point. See you there!

  12. Looking forward to meeting you Michael- I ADORE SICILY yoo

  13. Felicidades!! Judy, I am so proud of you and all the teaching you've done AND all the fun you're having! Every time I see you, its a blast! What an inspiring blog and great yummy photos tambien! Do you have time to come back to Oaxaca before or after San Miguel? We'd love to see you here again.
    Every time I look at your site I get so hungry and anxious to go to Italy. I am coming soon. I really need to learn pronto! In the meantime I want to get the book! Un beso!