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Meeting people passionate about food


Dinner at the Gritti Palace in Venice
Claudia Roden Writer
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My first visit and my first experience was in Milan at a conference. Somebody in Milan at the conference was a food historian called Massimo Alberini. He said, 'Do you want to come to dinner at the Gritti Palace in Venice, when we're having a reunion of chefs from all the regions, who are special group who decided they are going to keep tradition?' And so, I was thrilled, can you imagine, sitting on the terrace of the Gritti overlooking the canal with a long table and all the chefs. And it was heaven. But then, they were all explaining that it was a new thing, just for a time, about this nuova cucina influence from France. And they wanted, not to impound their cuisine, they wanted to revitalise it. So, they were explaining that you don't have to stick exactly to what your mother made in the region, but you revitalise it by refining it. Making it better for a restaurant, which is wonderful. And so, I took a lot of their cards, they were from all the regions, so I could go and visit.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: Gritti Palace, Venice, Massimo Alberini

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023