Mama Mia! What’s cooking with the Mama Florence Family

This past April, I sat down with members of the Mama Florence family to chat with them about their relationship with Italian cuisine, their first and most significant food memories and moments, their favorite dishes, and why they love the work they do. What comes out in our conversations is just how inextricably linked food […]

The Art of Sprezzatura featuring Alexandria Brown-Hejazi

“I really felt like I came alive here. Life felt simultaneously easier and harder, but underneath all of that, more inspiring and enlivening. And it’s something that I just couldn’t leave.” Alexandria Brown-Hejazi In this special, long episode featuring art historian Alexandria Brown-Hejazi, we begin by speaking about her journey from California to Italy, in […]

Italy, Islam & the Mediterranean(Part 2) featuring Ali Aydin Karamustafa

“I think for anyone who lives in Italy or is interested in Italy, it’s really valuable and interesting to keep those other connections in mind. The Mediterranean touches us all in some way or other.” Ali Aydin Karamustafa In part two of our conversation, Ali and I continue to discuss Italy’s relationship to its Mediterranean […]

Italy, Islam & the Mediterranean(Part I) featuring Ali Aydin Karamustafa

“I’m from Saint Louis, but I’m also originally Turkish and Iranian, so I have a basic experience with the Mediterranean. Coming to Italy there were a lot of things that were immediately recognizable, even just on the visceral level: sights, sounds, colors, smells, facial features. On the other hand, I was surprised by how much […]

Beautiful Deep: A Journey of Faith, part 2, Featuring Sherrita Duran

“I think the world right now is so dark, darker than ever, you know, and I think about what I can do and in whatever capacity I can, I want to be the opposite of that. I want to bring light. I want to bring faith.” Sherrita Duran In the second half of my conversation […]

Beautiful Deep: A Journey of Faith, part 1, Featuring Sherrita Duran

Beautiful Deep: A Journey of Faith, Part 1 Featuring Sherrita Duran “I fell in love with opera, I fell in love with Puccini and Verdi, and I went to USC (University of Southern California), to the music school there, because that was my passion. I’m going to be an opera singer. That’s all I want […]

The Power of Leaving & Returning, part 2 featuring Lucia Ducci

“Going back to Sarah Parker Remond, this city has a long history of what nowadays we call inclusion. At the time it was cosmopolitanism, right? This city is very, very open and welcoming and, you know, it has its challenges, but I would like to quote a student of mine who last week told me […]