For the month of November, we are hosting an extraordinary guest. She is Sophie Minchilli, a food lover and influencer. Her Instagram page is widely followed, and her tours and advice are a big hit, especially among Americans.
Sophie tells us a bit more about you.
I was born and raised in Rome, with an American mother and Italian father. I own a tour company together with my mother, and we lead food tours all over Italy. I love food (of course), but most importantly, I love my Italy's culture and traditions associated with food. Every day, I post aspects of my life on my Instagram page (@sminchilli) and try to show people the 'real' Italy.
How do you choose your posts? Your IG page has many followers.
I've always loved photography, and lately I've also started taking lots of videos. In particular, I love photographing people and listening to their stories. It could be anyone from a fisherman in Bari, to a local at the coffee bar in Rome. I think it's important to chat with the people in order to really get to know a country, and this is how I want to show people 'my Italy'
Could you tell us about your tours?
I am based in Rome where I lead day tours in the neighborhood and places I grew up going to. But together with my mother, I also lead week long food tours all over Italy: Sicily, Puglia, Umbria, Emilia Romagna..etc
Through my tours I try to teach people about Italian food, but most importantly about the whole culture that surrounds Italian food. The recipes, stories, producers and farmers.
What Americans are most curious about?
I feel like everyone always loves a trip to the farmer's market. People are really curious about what's in season, discovering new vegetables, and asking the local vendors how they would cook with them. A walk through a market is a great way to experience local Italian culture and daily life
Which is a recipe you like to cook?
It might sound boring but my specialty is a plate of Carbonara. I was raised in Rome so it's actually very important for me to know how to make a perfect plate of Carbonara (it's the most famous dish in Rome), and honestly, I can confidently say that I make a really good one!
What are the dishes that remind you most of your childhood?
A plate of pasta al sugo (pasta with tomato sauce). The smell of the garlic cooking in olive oil with the tomatoes brings me straight back to childhood
What are the typical dishes of your city or region?
I grew up in Rome, but also between Puglia (my dad's from there) and Umbria (we have a summer home there). So I would have
to pick a couple dishes for each region:
Rome- Amatriciana e Saltimbocca alla Romana
Puglia - Orecchiette con le cime di rapa e focaccia Barese
Umbria- Torta al pesto ripiena di cicoria e prosciutto. Cinghiale in umido