the gourmand scout Instagram kitchen

travel, food, perfumes, film, books, instagram – header img credits @society6.com

Lookbooks and laser blast

It’s lookbooks time at my office – they keep coming and coming – I was just browsing AGNONA, which is a very classy and luxurious Italian cashmere brand, they do beautiful stuff

Instagram by me

Also, yesterday Replay hosted a very nice party @Hangar Bicocca – the scenery was amazing, Kiefer’s Towers plus red laser, great combination – and the Maccabees + LCD Soundsystem performed on stage

As everybody knows, it’s not easy taking pics with the Iphone when it’s very, very dark – I just tryed and this was the bad result, but better than nothing…

Instagram by me

Anyways, I really suggest you Hangar Bicocca – it’s quite far from downtown but you still have to pay a visit, they created a very nice area with art exhibitions, a tiny but well stocked library, a bar – all with a mighty European taste, not so easy to find here

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Salone del Mobile Milan – interactive installation and mapping

If you are in Milan for Salone del Mobile, I suggest you to go and visit this interactive installation and mapping that my boyfriend made with his studio In_Synch Lab for Fantoni showroom – it’s set in via Santa Sofia, 27 – the entrance is free

it’s beautiful! here   you can see a video preview

and this is the street map to reach the place

Pinterest addiction

I’m getting more and more addicted to Pinterest – it’s very refreshing compared to other social networks, so inspiring, so filled with beautiful and brilliant images. I have created a board called “Food (not just) for thought”, totally dedicated to the most funny and charming food-related images that I could find on the web. I’ve always loved beautiful food – “if it catches the eye, it catches the stomach”, as they said.

Today it has been a very grey and rainy day in Milan – and I just need things like these to warm myself up a bit – begging for real Spring to come. Here are my favourites

a spinach, strawberries and goat cheese salad that I can’t wait to try – via nutmegnanny.com

a caprese-inspired tarte that looks simply amazing – and easy to make, tough – via sweetpaulmagazine

a recipes book that I bought and I still have to try – Instagram taken by me

Momin-inspired cookies – too cute to be true – via katka.ca

who said that lemons are bitter?

(for more, check my Pinterest here)

Milan: a quick look


Just a couple of random Instagrams I’ve taken some minutes ago from my office window, during lunch break. From the other side of the street you can see the Armani Cube, the hq of the maison with a super cute cafè, two restaurants, a huge shopping area where you can buy basically every Armani product – from clothes to chocolate and flowers – and, since last January, an amazing hotel.

I really suggest you to try the tiny unformal restaurant right up the bar. The food is delicious – Italian way, with a wider look to European and foreign cuisine – the waiters are super kind and the prices are actually affordable. It’s better to book a table for lunch cause it’s always very crowdy. I really adore their pumpkin ravioli with butter & sage.

Milan is holding this week Salone del Mobile, which is the correspective of Fashion Week but for design and furniture – it’s one of the main event in the city, there are a lot of interesting spots, activities, presentations and parties opened also to a large audience. It’s definitely one of the best time in the whole year to visit Milan – the only side effect is that the prices of the hotels are higher than ever!

You can find all the Fuorisalone events here

Rain and miso soup

Just warming up my first day back in the office – and missing London so, so badly

but the weather today in Milan is grey and cold and it’s pouring rain…so I feel like I am there, at the end of the day!

Fancy bags and fake pizzas

One of the perks of working in the fashion business in Milan is that you get invitations for basically every showroom sample sales. That’s what I got yesterday in Borbonese showroom

truly madly deeply in love with “her”!

Also, I want to share a super easy and quick recipe that I made some days ago. I used to call it the “fake-pizza”, cause the base is not made with pizza dough but with ready-made puff pastry. It’s lighter and tastes a bit different compared with a normal pizza, but I suggest you to try, you won’t be disappointed!

As toppings I’ve used black olives, anchovies, mozzarella cheese and of course tomato sauce. It only takes five minutes (plus twenty minutes in the oven) and it’s a fast alternative to the original one. I hope that they won’t tear my Italian ID card apart for this!

Speaking about film, I’ve just found out that Robert Pattinson will be starring as main character in the new film directed by David Cronenberg, Cosmopolis…me and my bf are huge fan of Cronenberg and actually Pattinson doesn’t look like one of his peculiar actors, but I think he’s talented anyways and I’m very curious to see his performance – sadly I still have to wait for quite a while, the film will be released in Italy not before December 2012…

Some Instagrams from Como – Italy

Well, I’m having a week off for Easter and today I’ve spent some time wandering around one of my favorites places in the world: Como city and its gorgeous lake.

Here below some random Instagrams I took today

this is the great Villa Olmo – on the time being, there’s an exhibition focused on Brueghel painters dinasty…it’s really beyond.

HIGLY RECOMMENDED!

ok, actually you weren’t allowed to take picture of the exhibition…just took this one out of the blue, I know –

it’s naughty, as I worked in a museum in one of my previous lives I know how annoying it could be for the invigilators, but I just couldn’t resist…

TOO MUCH BEAUTY.

Traditional Easter starters: insalata russa and vitello tonnato

My grandma is 87 years old but she still cooks as much as she can. She will always be the best chef in the world to me, nothing to discuss about this. It’s not Easter without her insalata russa and vitello tonnato, they are the best of the best.

The insalata russa (click here for the recipe in English) is a typical Italian starter – nothing to share with the real Russian one, which is far different – composed by boiled vegetables (commonly we use potatoes, carrots, fresh peas, capers and cucumbers) cutted into little pieces and mixed with homemade mayo. You have to keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours and then serve it. It’s the end of the world, believe me.

I’ve taken some Instagrams during the making of – this is before

…and after – ready to be eaten!

The vitello tonnato (click here for the recipe in English) is another traditional starter typical of Milan area, where I was born and raised. It’s super easy to make, but you have to be very careful and pay attention to the amount of every single ingredient if you want it to be excellent. It’s just veal meat cutted in very thin slices and covered with a soft sauce made putting together homemade mayo with chopped tuna. Have you ever thought about mixing veal with tuna? Well, definitely it’s not your dish if you are a vegetarian but if you eat meat and fish I really suggest you to try – you won’t be sorry at all! Apparently, it was also the favourite dish of the mighty Gianfranco Ferrè, who was born and raised in Legnano, in the boundaries of Milan.

Easter, French Riviera and ricotta

Aix-en-Provence, flowers market

All pictures taken by me in August 2009

Spring has finally sprung – even if the grey clouds above my head don’t seem to agree – and tomorrow’s Easter. A huge lunch is waiting for me, so I will talk about our traditional dishes for Easter the day after tomorrow. I’m posting some pics of my last proper trip to the French Riviera – pretty far away, it was 2009 – cause in my childhood I used to spend Easter holidays there, every year. Since then, the French Riviera is always connected in my mind with Easter time, the first flowers of Spring and the temperature getting higher. The season is calling, babes.

In the meantime, I just want to suggest a super-fast-but-oh-so-good recipe for those days when you want to stay light but as well eating tasteful. Just cook some pasta and after this throw in the pan a bio tomato sauce and some spoon of ricotta cheese – a very good one, pretty please. Mix it well and serve.

Since I was a child, “pasta e ricotta” has been one of my favourites for the bad mood days. Don’t know why, but it’s definitely better than Prozac.

Antibes, farmer’s market

 

Antibes, spices market

(I totally adore the colors)

Guacamole, California and food memories

Last Monday we had a totally unexpected special lunch break: Jeff, my boss, arranged an homemade huge  Mexican lunch at his place. All the dishes were handmade by one of his guests, a lovely Mexican guy. I’d never thought to eat an all-veggie Mexican meal – I mean, everybody knows that it’s all about the meat! – but it was really the best I’ve ever had, I swear.

We ate so much that we all wondered how we could start to work again, once back in the office. Everything was delicious: homemade tortillas with queso, a bittersweet soup made with corn and soy sour cream, a super tasteful salad with an honey and mustard dressing, mashed red beans – and much more. But the king for a day, for me, was definitely the guacamole. My boss is from LA originally and he really does the best guacamole ever.

Instagram pictures taken by me on Monday, April 2nd

This dish brings to me the sweetest memories. It reminds me of my first trip to the US, when I was eleven, with my mom and dad. Once there, I met my “other” family, the lovely people that welcomed my parents when they were young and full of hopes, without a clue about studying and working in  the US. We stayed in Palo Alto, a city that I loved immediately from the bottom of my heart. While there, we celebrated the 83rd birthday of my “soul granny” – an amazing and powerful Irish woman, Grace. Of course, they did guacamole. It was my first time, the flavor was a bit strange to my Italian taste buds, but it was – you have to say it – love at first “taste”. The two months I spent there have been one of the happiest period of my life. I was a very shy and torn kid, not exactly the most joyful person in the world – but actually I was, there. Grace left this land of tears almost five years ago to reach a better place, but she is still on my mind and in my heart.

And everytime I eat guacamole, I think about her.

(by the way, below you can see the dessert we ate – an homemade lemon cheesecake with mango, strawberries and dark chocolate – it was THE BEST!)

UPDATE:

In case you are planning a trip to Milan for Easter leave, go to the Triennale: besides being one of the major museums in Italy, from 3rd to 15th April there will be an interactive installation created by my boyfriend about love letters, love messages and much more…check this link (it’s just in Italian, I’m sorry!)