I can’t seem to stay out of the mountains.
I was born in raised in the mountains of western North Carolina, amidst banjos, moonshine, and really good cooking straight from the garden. I always loved my mountain home, but after I finished college I went exploring the world for a year. I ran a vegetarian cafe in Ireland, busked with my fiddle to pay for my pints, and swing danced my way across Europe. In 2007, on a whim I decided to walk the Camino de Santiago, a nearly 1000 km long spiritual pilgrimage starting in the Pyranees mountains in France, to the west coast of Spain. It was long, it made my feet hurt, and was the most enlightening experience of my life. Two weeks in, I met and fell in love with a wonderful Italian man, Gianluca. We walked the last three weeks across the ever changing Spanish country side, and more than two years later (in the meantime I was in graduate school for physics in the US), I moved to his Alpine wonderland in Valle d’Aosta, and we got married.
The mountains here are big. Much, much larger than the Appalachian mountains that raised me up from a youngin’. But, I realized that mountain people are mountain people, no matter where you go. And so, I have dived into exploring the Valdostanno culture and to experience it to its fullest. I’ve picked grapes at some of the highest vineyards in Europe, and cheered on pregnant heifers at cow battles on mountain top villages. I’ve kneaded black bread with little old ladies, rescued a food bunny from the trashcan of the guardian of the dam, and worked in the kitchen of a Michelin star chef. Every day is a new adventure, and boy oh boy, have I eaten good here…..and I try to share some of the recipes on this site with you.
Cooking and baking have always been a passion of mine, and I love mountain food. The great thing about mountains is that they all produce pretty much the same ingredients. I find great pleasure in using local ingredients to create a fusion between Alpine and Appalachian food. And to unite the two cultures in my day-to-day life.