I am from Isola Del Liri (‘The Island of the River Liri’), a village in the valley of the province of Frosinone, which is one hour from Rome. To be really precise, I am from the Ciociaria side of Frosinone, which has its own culture, dialect and traditions. This is an area famous for being the birthplace of the Roman orator and philosopher, Cicero. The village Cicero was born in, Arpino is on the hill, and my village in the valley beneath it. Also close by, is the ancient town of Anagni, also known as ‘The City of Popes’ as during mediaeval times it was a papal centre.


My family has lived in this region for centuries. My grandparents had a little piece of land near the village where they cultivated vineyards for wine and grew vegetables. Most of my cooking skills have been learnt from my grandmother, Santina. My grandfather Silvio taught me an appreciation of good white wine, which he made himself.


The recipes I have shared with you all come from my family. The lamb and polenta dish is made for family gatherings, like an Australian family BBQ, but in winter. The tradition is to drink red wine and share this meal with the family while it’s dark and snowing in mid-winter.


I moved to Australia in June 2013, after meeting my fiancée Kelly while we were both working in Abu Dhabi. We decided Australia would be a good place to make a new home, and we now live in regional NSW in Orange where there are plenty of vineyards and fresh produce – so I feel very at home!