I received an email from a PR person asking me if I wanted to interview an author of a cookbook……I’ve never done that before so I was a little nervous. I knew it would be a good person to meet because the always awesome Keren Brown referred the PR person over to me (THANKS KEREN!)
I started doing a little research on Mark Leslie and he has a blog too (click). I researched a bit more and found out that he traveled to Italy and learned how to cook from Italians and not just from a stuffy cooking class or some washed up food writers living in Italy…he learned from a family where grandma showed him the way to true Italian cooking. He took a chance and followed his dreams in order take another step forward in life to achieve the ultimate goal in life…….EAT THE BEST FOOD ALWAYS!!
I met up with Mark while he was in town visiting Festa Italiana. I had a chance to sit down with him and interview him. When I met him I wasn’t nervous at all, we just started talking about food. He was just as excited about this whole food thing as I was. We talked about how people in the United States are always worried about time in the kitchen instead of worrying about how good something could be if they just took a little more time. We both agreed that it’s frustrating talking to people that don’t have simple things down like a simple marinara sauce but those same people can tell you who won American Idol last year. They’ve never made pasta but they have all seasons of “Lost” memorized and on DVD!!!
Mark talked about his journey through life and told me that it’s not about making an extra $20,000 here and there because at the end of the day you can’t take that with you….the only thing you’ll have left is experiences and quality time spent with people you love. He believes that with food and quality time…experiences can be made for the better. Notice, he said nothing about going crazy in the kitchen and making a stuffy French sauce that takes 5 days, ends up being 4 ounces transformed from 2 gallons and makes the entire house smell awesome (how I roll)…. He likes the simple approach to food that gives love and respect to Italian cuisine.
Why is Italian cuisine so good?
He told me because it’s simple. It focuses on great ingredients and there aren’t that many things you need to do in order to make a great dish….maybe just a little elbow grease and some time with grandma.
His book has recipes amazing recipes like Penne with Proscuitto and Peas, Veal Tips, and Polenta, Zucchini and Onion Frittata, and many more that are wrapped in with his story of his adventures in Italy. It’s a very cool presentation of recipes within a story that helps each recipe tell a story.
I suggest you check his book out. My meeting with Mark reaffirmed my own wishes and dreams.
I’m working on it Mark! Thanks again for your time and good luck with the book tour!!!!