Back to the Future ~ Viterbo bound

~ Returning to my now Italian home ~

Writing a book about real people and the real time you spent with them can be stressful – especially when you wrote it without them ever pre-reading a single syllable. Add to that the fact that there is a language barrier between everyone involved and you might start to understand why I was a little nervous on the train back to Viterbo to spend a week with the Stefani family in Viterbo.

Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family was about my month with the Stefanis. As the book enters its second printing, I had to take a trip back to Viterbo to celebrate its publication and to see what more I could learn – about Italian food, culture and myself. How have they changed, how have I changed and how has Italy changed?

This trip was fantastic on so many levels and I shot a lot of video footage. Over the next several months I’ll be bringing you new recipes, more views of Italy and new insights into the Italian culture.

Ciao e a presto~

Mark

About the Author

Mark LeslieMark Leslie, seen cooking on NBC’s "The Today Show" and Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, vacations in Italy every year, and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. His first book, “Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family,” tells of his life in Italy while cooking with an Italian grandmother. He shares his food experiences on his blog at www.beyondthepasta.com and has taught cooking classes in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and across Alabama. While judging for high school culinary events, he was chosen by the US Department of Education to judge for their "National Education Startup Challenge." Mark can be regularly seen cooking on NBC-affiliate, WSFA-TV 12's "Alabama Live! each Friday, bringing easy, locally sourced recipes to central Alabama. His iTunes app “Beyond the Pasta” features helpful videos and more of Nonna’s family-style recipes that she shared with him, plus, upon its release, it was named “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. DaVinci Wines chose Mark as their "2012 Storyteller" in Language Arts—where they sent him to Vinci, Italy, to write about wine, food and life. Mark, his home and book have been featured in such national publications and blogs as House Beautiful, Paula Deen, Food Republic, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Field & Stream, and The Daily Meal. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 24 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissimo!View all posts by Mark Leslie →

"Beyond the Pasta" is owned and operated by Mark Leslie. Unless otherwise specified all content, writing, recipes and photography is original and held in copyright through the Library of Congress. It may not be used without the express written consent of Mark Leslie.