It’s with great pleasure that we present you today one of the most inspired promoters of Sicilian food’s tradition: we met Katia Amore from Lovesicily.com few weeks ago and immediately got amazed by her cookery school based in beautiful Modica, South-East of Sicily.
Katia is from Sicily, and spent few years in England before deciding to get back to start her cookery school and offer to others the magics of the island’s food. We had a chat, and think you’ll enjoy to read more about her:
Ciao Katia. You told us you used to live in the UK for 10 years before
moving back to Sicily. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
I lived in the UK for almost 10 years. After getting my degree in
Middle Eastern Studies in Venice, I went to England to do an MA and,
then, a PhD in Ethnic studies which led to my work as a researcher in
the field of immigration and asylum. I loved my academic work and
still get the chance to do research on a freelance basis.
When did exactly LoveSicily’s idea came to your mind?
Opening a cooking school was an old dream of mine, and have always
been interested in food. When I lived in England I loved cooking for
friends and colleagues, and my Sicilian dinners were really popular.
Every time I came back from Sicily I brought with me a piece of
Sicily: Modica’s chocolate, almond biscuits, caciocavallo ragusano,
Sicilian wine, etc. Everyone had his/her own favourite and would get
disappointed if I came empty handed.
Then, after spending a month in Sicily during spring to organise my
wedding, the wish to come back and fulfill my dream became even
stronger. In April nature is in bloom, the smell of orange blossoms
inhabriating, simply irresistable. So as soon as we went back to
England loveSicily.com adventure began and we started planning the
renovation on my grandparents’ house in the historical centre of
And how does your cookery school work? Can you tell us how do you
organize the courses?
We have our weel-log cookery holidays which are available on set-dates or on a tailor-made basis for groups who propose their chosen dates. These are a mixture of cooking sessions with me in the school’s kitchen and visits to producers and towns in the Ragusa-Siracusa area. But people can also book just for lessons, which are always hands-on classes with a seasonal menu. The main aim of the cooking classes is to enjoy Sicilian food and each other company in the kitchen.
What do your guests learn at LoveSicily’s courses and which image of Sicily do you think they get when they are in Modica?
The food I propose in my classes is a combination of classic Sicilian
recipes, my family’s specialties and some of my own creations which
are based on research of classic/historical recipes or inspired by
my love for local quality ingredients.
I hope they experience “the real Sicily” of the XXI century, a Sicily
where traditions are still strong within a modern context that offers
better quality products and services in full respect of nature and
Promoting quality food is not easy and requires a lot of attention:
can you tell us how do you select the Sicilian ingredients of your
I always look for seasonal organic ingredients and prefer to shop from
producers I know directly. We are very lucky in this area, I can go to
my miller and ask for a specific thickness of flour, tell my favourite
farmer what to plant for me for the following season, have good
friends who are also the best Modica’s chocolate producers, great
extra virgin olive oil producers and wine makers.
Quite often, I include wild herbs and other ingredients that grow
spontaneously in our countryside like asparagus, capers, fennel, sage,
arugola, etc in my lessons.
What do you think should be done in order to better promote Sicily and
its traditional, genuine food experience?
I think many producers and restaurateurs are already doing their best
promoting the quality and variety Sicilian food can offer. So are many
bloggers and on-line magazines. I simply think we need to continue on
this line and collaborate to improve and strengthen the message that
Sicily offers a unique experience: fantastic culture, amazing nature,
great food in the heart of the Mediterranean.
If you should choose one chocolate?
I have not doubts: Antica Dolceria Bonajuto Mozia Salt Chocolate
What about your favorite traditional sweet?
Too many, starting with the nougats like Kubaita and Aranciata, then
the ricotta based sweets like cassate, cassateddi e cannoli, and the
almond or pistachio based biscuits, it is a never ending love story.
And your favorite recipes?
Sicilian recipes;)! Once again, too many come to mind.
At the moment I am enthusiastic about my latest risotto with saffron I got from the wild saffron crocus I collected in the woods around Noto Antica. The combination of saffron and rice has ancient roots in
sicilian cuisine and preparing it with wild flowers I collected in the
fields as they probably did centuries ago, gives me an amazing
We at Mizzica can’t wait to get back to Modica and meet Katia to be surprised again: you should probably put Modica on your travel agenda
For more information, visit Love Sicily cookery school website!