As we mentioned in our earlier post, we want to share with you some of the extraordinary work that our participants produce during the 2.5 days we are together for our workshops. Remember that our participants arrive at Plate to Page as total strangers from all over the world and from the very first afternoon they are thrown together to share living quarters, cooking duties and workshop assignments. We feel that this is one of the most positive aspects of Plate to Page - the emphasis on collaborative learning and the wonderful synergy that can be produced when creative people from different backgrounds work together. Rather than turning out little clones of the instructors, we hope that Plate to Page workshops produce alumni that have learnt not only from the instructors but also from working closely together with fellow-participants on assignments, and leave the weekend with a stronger idea of their own visual and written voice.
Today we share a piece from Olivia Vasallo and Alexandra Asnaghi, two fabulously feisty Mediterranean ladies who attended our Tuscany 2011 Workshop. The assignment was to write and photograph for an article titled "Eating in Tuscany" in the style of a high-end foodie magazine such as Saveur. They had to consider not only how the images would illustrate the article, but also the potential space for placement of text on the photos; the tone of the magazine; and its target audience. In doing so, they practically applied all that they had learnt about both writing and photography over the course of the weekend.
We think they did a fantastic job - have a look and see what you think!
If you are planning to visit Tuscany wait for Autumn: it’s time for chestnuts, porcini, truffles, freshly pressed olive oil and vino novello.
What fascinates me most about Tuscan food is its simplicity. Ingredients are picked directly from the earth and transformed, by the plump hands of Tuscan women, into dishes typical of this area. Whether its pasta, meat, or desserts Tuscan citizens have their secret recipe to produce simple and flavour some specialities!
Pici is an artisan type of pasta, characteristic of Tuscany. This is produced with a mixture of flour, water and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and worked into long pencil like strips of dough. Pici are generally served with a garlicky tomato sauce known as ‘sugo all’aglione’, but they surely also go well with wild boar or pheasant sauce.
October is chestnut season in Tuscany. Locals organise sagre to celebrate and pay tribute to the chestnut, this brown, oddly shaped, hard-skinned nut which is profusely used in the Tuscan kitchen. Chestnuts are also crushed into flour and in fact if you are in Tuscany insist to taste the castagnaccio - a cake made from chestnut flour, sweetened by raisins, enriched by pine nuts and spiced with needles of rosemary sprigs.
And then to liven your spirits don’t forget to enjoy a glass of vino novello! You can drink this wine young - however no research has proved that it will keep you so!
Does this sound like the kind of weekend course that your writing and photography skills would benefit from? Next Plate to Page workshop is taking place in May 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.