Good Food Blog
Talking ItalianPosted at 11:31AM, 27 March 2008 by Gregg Wallace - TV presenter, greengrocer
I do get to do some great stuff! I realise how fortunate I am to get invited to work in many great places. There is though a down side of this, especially for a big gob chatterbox like me. There is always a big gap between me filming something and it being shown on the telly. I do something great, then I'm not allowed to tell anyone!
Well, without giving too much away. I was invited to tell of and film in my favourite food bit of the world. For me that is easy, too easy - Southern Italy.
There is no celebration of Chef, the best food is in the home. Eating well in Basilicata is a birthright.
I have just spent a few wonderful days in Basilicata. This is the region in between the heel of Apulia and the pointy toe of Calabria. It is a rustic and fiercely regional area, with great cheese, amazing use of pigs and some of the best veg in the world. That is one of the reasons I love it. Nobody loves veg as much as me, Hindus and Southern Italians.
It is the sheer inventiveness of the cuisine, developed by peasant peoples trying to feed big families with very little. There is no celebration of Chef, the best food is in the home. Eating well out there is a birth right. I have rarely met such generous people, they want to feed you all the time. You have dinner with a family in Basilicata and three days later you are hungry again!
I once heard a clever chap on the Radio 4 Food Programme. What he said has stayed with me for years. "French food at its best shows the genius of the chef. Italian food at its best shows the genius of God".