The best food is the kind that you make yourself.
Welcome to the Educated Palate. We have been privileged to know Italian artisans who come from generations of producers proud of their work, as well as entrepreneurs who are redefining food sources. With this blog, we will introduce you to them and share some of our favorite dishes that we cook at home. We hope to give you a window into lives that are married to food and food production. We will tell you a little about our travels and some of the foods and flavors we’ve encountered. Family is central to our lives, and will be featured in the discussions. Much of Giuliano’s taste memories come from growing up eating his mother’s cooking and we will share some of Marcella Hazan’s pearls of wisdom with you. We hope to bridge Italian sensibility with American organization; mostly, we hope to give you something to enjoy! We welcome your thoughts and comments and look forward to hosting interesting food related discussions on our forum. We hope to regale your palate with simple, delicious, authentic Italian flavors.
Giuliano is one of the foremost authorities on Italian cooking. His style is accessible and authentic, without pretense or fanfare. He shares his lifelong love of food — food that is simple, honest and incredibly flavorful — empowering his students to create impressive meals that are consistently and reliably delicious. A TODAY show regular, his four cookbooks have earned him a James Beard Award nomination and the World Cookbook Award for Best Italian Cookbook in the English Language. In 2007 the International Association of Culinary Professionals named him Cooking Teacher of the Year. Together with his wife, Lael, he runs an acclaimed cooking school in northern Italy, Cooking with Giuliano Hazan at Villa Giona.
Born and raised in California, Lael Hazan grew up in a family that was always interested in history and food. She graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz with highest honors in Western European history with a sub-specialty in the Italian Renaissance. After completing graduate school at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor with dual degrees in social work and Jewish communal service, Lael was recruited to work for the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation. She married into Italian cooking royalty when she wed cookbook author Giuliano Hazan, the only child of the doyenne of Italian cooking, Marcella Hazan, and wine critic Victor Hazan. Together they operate Cooking with Giuliano Hazan at Villa Giona, a cooking school near Verona, Italy. She currently lectures on Italian food history in the US, writes for publications and blogs including The Huffington Post, Saveur.com, Sarasota Magazine, Creative Loafing Magazine and Edible Sarasota, and hosts a radio show, Focus on Fabulous Food on WSLR 96.5fm. She was named in the Huffington Post as one of the 16 chefs to watch on twitter, is active on facebook, and maintains a presence on many networks. Lael writes about: Italian food, travel, bringing up children, and life within a famous family. She is available for free lance work.
When Marcella Hazan published her history-making volume, THE CLASSIC ITALIAN COOK BOOK made its nationally acclaimed appearance in 1973, it opened wide the doors through which Italian culinary culture subsequently entered American life and transformed it. It was Marcella’s example that first released people from the intimidating tenets of gourmet cooking, that trail-blazed the road of simple cooking with fresh ingredients that millions now travel on. She proclaimed, “Cook not from the head, but from the heart!” Hers was the voice that started a major gastronomic revolution and that continues to be a clear, persuasive call.
With his book Italian Wine, published by Knopf in 1982, Victor Hazan became the English language’s first ambassador of Italian wines, whose extraordinary diversity and quality he continued to bring to the attention of drinkers everywhere through his writings and tasting seminars. The classification of wines according to taste, which he pioneered in his book, revolutionized restaurant wine lists and wine merchandizing throughout the world. Victor has also produced articles on dining, travel, and architecture in Italy that have appeared in many magazines. His most influential contribution to the world of food may rest, however, upon his forty-year association with his wife’s career, translating Marcella Hazan’s six cookbooks and memoir into English, and sharing in the operation of the celebrated cooking schools that they conducted in New York, Bologna, and Venice.