As a young child growing up in Florence, Italy, my family members used to call me "il buon gustaio," which translates to "One who wholeheartedly enjoys Food!" They said it was a pleasure to see me eat during our family meals – and I would always make them hungry just by watching me.
It was easy to enjoy food growing up in a big Italian family where everything was cooked from scratch and made with love. But when I left Florence and started traveling the world, it was hard to find the good, simple Italian food that I knew so well back home. I discovered various cultures and cuisines in casual, well-priced restaurants that were warm and inviting, but when it came to basic Italian fare I could not find the same.