Interviews & Characters

"A chat with ... Maria Elena Curzio, a cook at home "

Written by CinziaTosini

Maria Elena Curzio, Presidente dell’Associazione Nazionale Cuoche a domicilio.

A childhood spent with his grandmother Jolanda, true southern woman who cooked listening to opera music Neapolitan, telling the recipes as if they were fairy tales, who spoke with the ingredients… telling her that "Each recipe contains a secret ".

I first met Maria Elena Olio Officina Food Festival, among women oil. We've talked at length about the desire to recover the traditions of the kitchen once, that simple, that of our childhood.

Con Maria Grazia Barone, Maria Elena Curzio e Laura Elisa Turri.

By Maria Elena Curzio and Laura Elisa Turri.

  • Maria Elena, passions are often born from the experiences made crescendo. How did your?

I remember when my grandmother was the "omelet pasta with treasure". A traditional omelet with the addition of crumb used to clean the bowl in which he had beaten eggs. Jolanda grandmother said to us grandchildren who found the crumb would have had no luck. And 'here that is my passion ... the smell of pastiera fired at night, from french fries prepared when I was sad. Cooking is giving love to the one you love.

  • You're President of the Cooks at home. How did you came up with the idea of ​​building it?

After a breast cancer fortunately passed, I decided that I would live my life turning my passion for cooking into a profession, to create something of my own. I decided to hone my skills with no cooking courses, but working in the kitchen of a great chef, Gennaro Esposito. From him I learned the hard work, rigor, respect to the products, teamwork.

He spoke of my dream and the work that I wanted to take. After listening to me gave me a challenge. I should have found that women cooking in people's homes, transferred their passion for cooking and traditions ... teaching the good. I would have invited the famous Festa a Vico which he organizes every year. So it was. After contacting via internet many cooks in the home 25 May 2011 was born the National Association of Cooks at home.

The goal we have set is the enhancement, conservation, and dissemination of traditional Italian recipes. The cooks who belong with their initiatives and the desire to get involved, seek to re-educate those who follow, the pleasure of the perfume and taste of the food, elevating the work of the woman who cooks.

  • Tra i tuoi associati hai solo donne o hai anche richieste di… "Cuochi" a Domicilio?

Ho scelto di avere solo donne perché il mestiere di cuoco a domicilio nasce al maschile con i “monsù”, that the protagonists, with their culinary art, cooked to the nobles. A cultural heritage that led only men to be chef. The economy, culture, tradition, nutrition education was the trade of women that I would dignify with their work and with the luxury of simplicity.

  • How does this exactly your business?

Call a cook at home is a unique experience; a person who carries with him the passion and the joy of cooking. Along with the landlady currency intolerances, decides the menu and the layout of the table. And 'the cook at home that goes to the grocery store. A few hours before the event comes as a Mary Poppins magic with suitcases full of goodness and tools that will create magic in the kitchen. While the hostess entertains guests, serving dishes to the guests and tells preparations waiting to see the expressions of the pleasure of taste.

  • Tell me about some real life experience lived in the conduct of your business ?

I'll tell you a great experience and a complicated.

The beautiful experience is that the first time I attended the festival in Vico. I had to prepare lunch after the press conference which was attended by many chefs and food and wine critics saddled. At the same time I had to coordinate in a huge professional kitchen cooks at home who had never cooked together. Una prova durissima che abbiamo superato preparando le ricette della nostra tradizione a noi ben note. The nicest compliment that was received by a famous chef who told us: "Stay as you are ... you are precious".

The experience was difficult when we cooked the technical symposium on Italian bread, the Comunipane, at the Molino Quaglia flour Petra. There were only two induction plates. We have prepared the dough in harsh conditions without a sink. The experience and the acquired techniques, however, have meant that everything went well.

  • So now let's talk about the great chef. As I wrote recently in a article, I am that "annoying" to some of them ... the "break", quella che a volte li prende in giro per l’esasperazione dei piatti. Non hanno capito che le mie sono solo provocazioni per riportarli alla tradizione. What is your thought about?

How to break are perhaps worse off than you. I also think that the tradition and the roots are the foundation of everything. If we forget where we start we will not know where to go. I grandi chef con le loro divagazioni stanno massificando tutto. I fight for the defense of the small local producer, for the smell of bread waited patiently, I want to teach the good, I want to tell the life of the ingredients.

  • Alas, are much better at eating than cooking. Taste and smell the aromas of the wine and food for me is true ecstasy . The hope, however, is the last to die ... You do also cooks at home "cooking classes at home ..."? 

Bringing in the homes of local, seasonal produce and the forgotten ones, with cooking classes communicate to people our goal. Personally I would be honored to teach and to be contagious with my passion, Even more, I throw an idea, we could do it in an event with famous women who want to learn by exchanging equal to their culture of pairings of wine and oil with my teachings. What do you say?

I tell you… I gladly accept the challenge ! 😉




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