“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

la mia stagione al mare- my season at sea

"The mountains, and the sea, render men savage;
they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human".
Victor Hugo
A phone call changed my life, quickly and within the course of a day. One minute I was sitting in my kitchen cooking something I can't recall, the next thing my phone rang and my soon to be boss introduces himself as Fortunato ('the lucky one', not a common name for a person). I laugh and jokingly introduce myself also as Fortunata (well, I am fortunate). Within an hour we are having an interview at the bar across the from my house. I had attended a few interviews with local agencies in Viareggio and applied for a cooking jobs aboard luxury yachts for the summer, and these appointments were spoken in Italian. A dear friend, Gianluca, that lived in the apartment above from me is a Captain of a yacht. After relentless dinner parties and aperitifs at my house he encouraged me to for search work onboard a yacht. He helped with the clogs in motion.
With Fortunato there was never any doubt that the job was mine from the minute we meet, the only catch was that I had to be onbaord and ready to set sail the following day. This meant having to pack my entire apartment filled my obsessive habit of buying crockery, ceramics, linen's, and paintings (actually you can add anything to this list). I have to give thanks to my friends Claudia, Hayley and Aaron who all worked through the night to help pack up my apartment. The other thing that I had to urgently organise was getting my codice fiscale (an Italian registered number). The God's were shining down on me, what would typically take a few hours to queue in line at the local Italian office took two seconds. All of my documents were in order, my apartment was packed, and my carry on suitcase was ready (of course my pasta machine was packed). My emotions were probably the least organised, my gut churning with anxiety of the unknown. 
The rest is history. The saying "sink or swim" is the perfect analogy for this situation. Lucky my boat did not sink, literally. For the last five months I have been sailing between Italy and France, my eyes have seen some of the most magical places on earth. And yes, I FINALLY made it to St Tropez (I even managed to squeeze in a cheeky cocktail on land). Mind you, I have worked my tail off and have had little time to actually enjoy these places. Working 20 hour days with no breaks, a body filled bruises and arms covered in burn marks from the oven. The thing that made it all worth while was seeing the smile on the clients face when I cooked something wonderful or getting a glimpse of heavenly places only accessible by boat. My job was to cook for the clients and the crew. This meant a continuous flow of precisely timed courses exiting from the kitchen and around the clock. You all know my passion for cooking and to be able to this as a paid profession rendered me great satisfaction. A big part of this role was to ensure the boat was always stocked with supplies, doing the grocery shopping and cater for every ones dietary requirements. 
At times we were teamed with crew that spoke multiple languages but not necessarily the same one. This made for many comical and at times frustrating situations. 
At the end of a five month intense season I left feeling a little battered but content in the fact that I survived and with triumph my first season at sea. I left my last day with tears in my eyes for the memories I will take with me, lessons learnt, and the friendships and experiences that I formed along the way (notably my Benetti team, Emiliano, Matteo, Gabrielle, Simone and my Captain Carlo).

"It is like saying good-bye to a lover.  There are some fond memories but they treated you badly. But somehow you want more". 

Once again I would like to thank-you all for continuing to search and support my blog during my absence. For now I have posted some photos of the many dishes that I made during my voyage.
#buonadomenica #viareggio #cibo #italia #italy #tourism #turista #versilia #toscana #tuscany #kara #bellavita #sea #mare #lastoria #mystory #benetti

1 comment:

  1. Thank you (queen) Kara. It has been a real pleasure working with you and I can say I am Fortunate to have met you that day. Fortunato