Translation of the article: “Ho insegnato agli americani a cucinare”. La “missione” di Annalisa Pompeo negli States

AN INTERVIEW WITH A SPECIAL SICILIAN by I Viaggi di Cicerone

I will open with a phrase by Mark Twain that, in my opinion, describes it perfectly: 

In twenty years, you will not be disappointed with the things you have done, but that you will not have done. Then take off the anchor, abandon the safe harbors, capture the wind in your sails. Explore. Do you dream. Discover.”

This could be the motto of Annalisa Pompeo that I have often called “Wonder Woman” and today, also, “Amazon.” Of our times, with a gentle stubbornness, a smile that hides a superhuman strength, a motherhood that can be read in her face and always welcoming new adventures, she manages to reach her goals.  I could add that she is a perfect testimonial for our web magazine because she is a traveler that exports Sicily and its goodness, to the States, another place in her heart beyond her hometown of Favara.  She loves her home island, where, in 2013 she started  GoSicily, a wonderful and entrepreneurial project that can be defined in three words: cook, eat and explore.

But for those who still do not know, what does GoSicily propose? Annalisa offers cooking classes in Sicilian cuisine to tourists who want to enjoy an authentic and unique experience of flavors, tradition, community and fun. Annalisa, a “master” in the art of cooking, has created various workshops, including that of cavatello, the typical pasta of Agrigento made with Sicilian durum wheat flour or with tumminia flour; biscuitsmade with extra virgin olive oil, and not with butter. Annalisa loves to delight her lucky guests, also, with the feddri cu ll’ova , an exquisite omelet of stale bread, with the cubaita , almond nougat from Commissioner Montalbano, of which Sciascia wrote: “It takes the hammer to break it,” and with the famous  Easter lamb, a Favarese specialty that, by now, no longer just an Easter cake, is made of real almond and pistachio paste.

In short, Annalisa makes tourists dive into the most beautiful ‘Sicilianity” when she arrives in the States each year, in the month of January. At this point, she is expected as a true star of the kitchen, to teach and to give guests the opportunity to taste the delicacies of our land, loved by the gods and sometimes desecrated by men. For almost a month, friends from overseas, thanks to this wonderful young and passionate woman, have had a chance to taste Sicily and become bewitched by our land.

After just the first week in New York City, Annalisa did three sold out events and in which she met many new friends that excited her, like the children of the school of Lynda Bottone Pepe who had fun learning to make cavatelli and cannoli, and the NYC chapter of the American Wine Society where she cooked and entertained with paired Sicilian wines. Food loversin all her classes have said that the experience of making pasta with her is joyful and engaging. 

Annalisa was also a guest in various cooking schools to give theoretical and above all practical lessons on cavatelli with broccoli, pistachio pesto, Stuffed calamari, stuffed peppers and using strictly Sicilian ingredients. These various events met with great success and should remind us how important are these small realities for the economy and the image of our island.

Annalisa returns to her home now, to her family in Favara and she awaits your visit to her vintage kitchen, to pamper you and make you fall in love with Sicily. Forza Annalisa and Viva GoSicily.

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