‘Food and Agriculture in Italy Today’ with Evan Kleiman and Fabrizia Lanza
This event is sponsored and hosted by the English Writing, Literature and Publishing program at AUR.
In North America we are used to discussing the sad story of agriculture in the 21st century. The high ecological costs that come from industrial production; the glut of cheap and unhealthy calories; huge food waste yet at the same time tragic food insecurity.
When we think of Italy, however, we assume that things are different. Aren’t Italians the people who understand and value rural life? And isn’t the quality of food tied to preserving the environment? But is this the real story? Or is this a version of Italy that is fast becoming history.
Evan Kleiman, the host of the NPR radio program Good Food, will interview food activist Fabrizia Lanza to discuss some of the most important issues facing Italy today.
Elizabeth Minchilli, a Rome based food writer, has invited Evan and Fabrizia to Rome to talk about these issues. Following a brief introduction by Elizabeth, Evan will conduct and hour long with Fabrizia, asking her about the agricultural scene in in Italy and her farm and school in particular. How do small Italian farms survive in the globalized environment of the EU? What have been the positive and negative results of having a business that relies on international clients. What is the relationship of the estate to the local communities? These are just some of the questions that will be explored.
Evan Kleiman first visited Italy at the age of 17 and it changed her life. Food became linked with cultural experience and was to infect every part of her world. She opened her first restaurant,Angeli Caffe in 1984, and by the time her beloved restaurant closed in 2012 it was an L.A. institution known as much for the warmth of the welcome as for the food. Evan is the author of 7 best selling cookbooks and has been the host of NPR’s KCRW’s Good Food since 1998. She is based in Los Angeles but considers Rome her second home.
Fabrizia Lanza was born in Palermo in 1961 to the renowned Tasca family, the daughter of cooking school founder Anna Tasca Lanza. The family’s 200-year-old agricultural estate and Tasca d’Almerita winery instilled a love of farm-to-table production in Fabrizia from an early age. After a 20 year career as a museum curator, she returned to her family’s estate in 2006 to take over her mother’s hugely successful cooking school. Fabrizia is the author of two books, including her most recent Coming Home to Sicily. She continues to promote Sicilian food practices and slow food traditions through her school, her writing and her video documentation. She has recently extended her School’s teaching program to launch the 10-week Cook the Farm, a program for international chefs to learn about culinary and horticultural production in Sicily and the Mediterranean.
Elizabeth Minchilli has been writing about the joys of Italian life for the last 20 years. She is the author of 7 books on Italy, including her most recent, Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City. She is the author of the best-selling app, Eat Italy, She has written for over 40 publications including Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and The New York Times. Her popular blog, Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome, is where she shares her passion for Italian food, writing about recipes, meals and restaurants.