Like A Florentine

A cookbook inspired by a culinary Florentine adventure.

Whenever I am ever asked about my favorite book, my mind immediately reaches for one obscure and often opened book, Like a Florentine, a cookbook that I created for my senior study project when I was in high school. This cookbook is not my favorite because of its poetic writing, expert photography, or unparalleled illustrations, but because it reflects a very distinct inflection point in my life.

When beginning to think about what I wanted to do for my senior project, I explored many different options, yet none completely satisfying.

During one brainstorm, my dad finally asked me “if you could do anything, what would you do?”

I quickly responded that I would travel to Florence, Italy to take cooking classes and learn about Florentine cuisine. His simple response “then do it,” would be the surprising faith and confirmation that I needed to pursue this dream. I soon met with a travel agent to help with the planning of the trip. From this meeting, I spent days sitting on the floor of Barnes and Noble, diving into every Italian travel book I could find, and scouring the internet for cooking classes in Florence. I also set up a Kickstarter campaign to help with the financing of the trip. Using Kickstarter, I self-funded the trip in 25 days, raising $6,350 from 39 backers. I used this money to take cooking classes, partake in local market tours, and try various authentic Florentine restaurants over the course of one month.

The culmination of this trip was a 96-page cookbook filled with the recipes, photos, illustrations, anecdotes, and observations from this Florentine focused culinary experience. The self-fulfillment of this dream stands as one of the most impactful events of my life. Although I love to reach for the book in times of nostalgia and when I am hungry for homemade focaccia, I sift through the pages more often to remember the completion of, what seemed to be, such a large feat. I reread Like a Florentine to remind myself to continue to have the courage to take on risky ventures. Completing and documenting this culinary journey gave me the confidence that I could pursue other passions and strive for more challenging dreams. My cookbook serves as a continual reminder to me that I have the grit to take challenges head-on and the ability to overcome any obstacle that comes my way.

To view my Kickstarter page click here!

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