Archive for the ‘Arts and Culture’ Category

Judging gelato – the best gig of my life

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

The end of the Gelato World Tour – the culmination of three years of worldwide national competitions where the public could vote for their favourite flavour. Since 2015 over 1,800 gelato makers have competed for a place in the finals held in the north Italian town of Rimini. 36 finalists from 4 continents and 19 different countries prepared batches of their winning flavours with ingredients ranging from rose water and black tea to cheese, extra virgin olive oil and even meat.
I was asked if I’d like to be on the journalists’ jury. What a silly question!

First broadcast on Inside Europe, Deutsche Welle Radio, 21st September, 2017

English Soup – Italy’s answer to trifle?

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Zuppa Inglese. English Soup. It’s my least favourite Italian dessert, reminiscent of a British one that’s never done it for me either: trifle.

It’s made with vanilla custard cream flavoured with a hint of lemon zest, chocolate custard cream, and sponge cake or sponge finger biscuits dipped in a peculiar, bright red liqueur.

I’ve been delving into the mysteries of Zuppa Inglese: its history, its name and its (to me, inexplicable) lasting popularity.

I began by talking to Massimo Bottura, the author of Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, at his 3 Michelin star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena.

First broadcast on The Food Programme, BBC Radio 4, 20th December 2015

Leonardo: the world’s most famous selfie?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

In the north Italian city of Turin, a rare exhibition called “Leonardo and the King’s Treasures” features as its main attraction a drawing widely considered to be Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait. It’s seldom on show because displaying it is a risky and costly business.

I was allowed a sneak preview inside the ‘caveau’ – the sealed vault where the red chalk drawing and many other invaluable works are kept.

(first broadcast on Spectrum, Deutsche Welle Radio, 15th December, 2014)