Laura Giunta Tobin
Hello and welcome to my blog!
My name is Laura, I am an Italian living on the French Riviera, the heart of the Mediterranean Cuisine.
Our home is just outside the charming medieval village of Saint Paul de Vence, famous for its art and home to many celebrities. We are right in the middle of the French Riviera, 40 minutes drive from Cannes and 40 minutes from Monaco. Nice and Antibes are only 20 minutes away and in only 1 hour I can be in Italy for my Italian food shopping at Ventimiglia Food Market.
My Food Life
I grew up in Rome in a happy family with two sisters and one brother, me being the third. Having to feed all of us children and my father, my mother decided to make meals more interesting and fun so she took four Cordon Bleu Courses: Corsi di Cucina Amatoriale Cordon Bleu. We often had people over for lunch, dinner and our friends were always delighted to come. On a normal day, we would have Parisian Gnocchi, Turkey Rolle’ instead of the usual Pasta Asciutta and Bistecca! As a result, when I knew my Mom would go in the kitchen to prepare these gourmet dishes, I couldn’t resist to help my Mom and learn from her.
We would spend all our Summers in the South of Italy, in Reggio Calabria or sailing away in the Sicilian Eolie Islands. Seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables were our daily meals with plenty of family banquets…. the most delicious at my Uncle Nicola’s Private Restaurant.
Before I settled in the South of France in 2010, I lived in many different countries – six at last count! I married an Irish man named Robert and have two sons, Liam (Age 19) and Francesco (Age 12).
In 2015 I started this blog, as my sons were becoming more independent. I had left an exciting career to start and raise my family and had been missing the thrill of “business challenges.” By then, I was ready to learn new things and to build a new professional life while also being a stay-at-home mom.
For many of us women it is a struggle having to decide between the family and a challenging career. While in the past I had many doubts, now in retrospect, I am so pleased with my choice. I took the chance to follow one of my passions…cooking for family and friends and, in the process, building precious, everlasting memories.
Unexpectedly, my husband Robert passed away in August 2018. Memories are what I have left to cherish, and amazingly, most of our happiest memories are linked to food.
- We fell in love eating a trout in a parcel and laughed at our baby Francesco smelling Stilton cheese.
- Food shopping was always a serious matter: fresh ingredients and special products.
- We spent memorable times together in the kitchen, getting our favourite meals ready and eating at the table with our sons every day.
- Our sons learned to appreciate good food at home and at restaurants. Francesco loves octopus “legs” and Liam would rather order soup instead of French Fries!
- The joy of having friends over for Barbeque, mastering many outdoor cooking techniques, from cooking the Brasilian Picanha to a Spanish Paella.
So many precious memories! A priceless gift in the face of such a loss to our family.
Liam is now at university and it is only Francesco and me at home. Dinner time remains special as we sit at the table together and talk about the day while eating my homy food.
When Liam comes home from university, I always make his favourite: Sushi. And, when our friends come to visit, we like to remember Robert by cooking some of his favourite meals and remembering his outstanding barbecuing skills amongst other things.
UPDATE June 2019: we have a new addition to our family Eddie, a 3-month-old schnauzer. The cutest thing ever.
Building your own memories
Above all, this Blog is for you…to help you build your own memories. Something special to make to please friends and/or family. Something to cook together or to enjoy on a special day.
All recipes have step-by-step photos/video so please don’t be intimidated by difficult techniques! Your Guardian Chef is here to help you, like a Guardian Angel.
My recipes are easy to make as I am not a professional chef. Instead, I learned how to cook from my mom when I was a child. Similarly, she was my angel with plenty of patience and maternal love. She taught me all the techniques and tricks of gourmet cooking, and I will do the same for you!
Because I love food and I am very interested in trying new cuisine, when I travel the world, I always spend time learning and understanding local food and cultural traditions. As a result, here you have on my Blog a wide variety of recipes all made from scratch and explained in a very simple way.
That was me. Now it is up to you! Try a new recipe or a new technique, taste something that takes you back to faraway places and memories.
Build your own precious memories…
I hope you will enjoy taking this Gourmet Journey with me!
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2016 – April – “Salvare il mare, il sogno di un bambino: Francesco Tobin”; L’Editoriale; Monaco
The story about my son Francesco, how he developed his artistic talent and at 9 years old used his skills to make a difference for the seahorse and his environment in the Larvotto Beach, Monaco.
2016 – January – ‘Lunch with LT’ in English and Italian; Italy Food Monte Carlo; Monaco
Michelin Star Chefs are coming for lunch…but I am the one who is cooking!
2015 – December – Volunteer Contributor to ‘In the Kitchen with Stars’ by Angela Van Wright, second edition published in support of the UNAKIDS Foundation; Monaco
Featured by Press:
2016 – October: ‘How to make France’s ‘most-loved’ dish: Magret de Canard’, TheLocal.fr
2016 – August: ‘How to make France’s famed Île Flottante dessert’; TheLocal.fr
2016 – August : ‘How to make the tastiest ratatouille’; TheLocal.fr
2016 – May: ‘How to make a traditional French cassoulet’; TheLocal.fr
2015 -November – ‘Challenging the Michelin Star Chefs to come for lunch’; L’Editoriale; Monaco
Laura invites four ” Chef étoilé Michelin ” for lunch at her home, to prove to her readers that even a home cook can entertain and satisfy the most demanding of guests.
Awards and recognitions: