Oct 202013
On board the Alizah, booking passengers.  Photo: Gannett/Westchester-Rockland Newspapers

On board the Alizah,
booking passengers. My dog, Blue, always came along for the ride.
Photo: Gannett/Westchester-Rockland Newspapers

In thirty years of writing about food and cooking, people have so often asked me how I became a food writer. A few weeks ago I was invited by my friend Carol Durst-Wertheim to talk about cooking the Italian harvest to the Pleasantville Garden Club in that bucolic village in Westchester County, NY. A few days later, Carol interviewed me on PCTV, Pleasantville’s hometown television station, about how I found my way to food writing. It was the kind of talk you’d have with a neighbor over a cup of tea at your kitchen table. How I merged a predilection for art, a drive for politics, and a passion for food, crafting fourteen cookbooks to date, was the subject of our chat. If you’d like to hear a bit about my story, pull up a chair.

It all began in my mid-20s when I cooked for paying guests on the galley of a large sailing ketch.

With baby lamb in Scotland.  Photo: Howard Davies

With baby lamb in Scotland,
the early days.




No, actually, it began in my early 20s when I was a graduate student in Edinburgh, scouring Scotland for something good to eat besides mutton pies, only to return to my railroad flat kitchen and cook the Italian food of my childhood.

But no, come to think of it, it  started much earlier than that…. It started when I was born, hungry. Well, if you’ve ever wondered how a person might become a food writer, here’s the video of my appearance on PCTV, which is my story, in a very small nutshell.


To watch my interview on PCTV, click on the arrow above

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  7 Responses to “How to Become a Food Writer”

  1. I loved watching this interview. It was like having you right next to me in my office. And, I learned more about you and your career. The best is yet to be.

  2. Oh my, but what a wonderful interview! I so enjoyed hearing about your life story. I enjoyed your mention of Americans using this pasta with that sauce; this and that, as we know, do not always go together. In fact, just a few weeks ago I took a class with Giuliano Bugialli, and that was his biggest complaint about Americans.

    I also enjoyed your explanation of the artwork in Pasta Classica. I bought that book right after it came out, and I adored it. I am certainly glad you found Chronicle Books! And I am utterly intrigued by the pasta museum in Liguria. What an absolute treat.

    Thanks for putting this interview up. It is really wonderful.

    • Thank you very much, Adri. It was fun to reminisce a bit, and in that cute local TV studio it really felt like I was talking to my neighbor over the garden fence. Lovely to hear from you and looking forward to updates on your work.

  3. Bonsoir Julia! Here is the swiss guy. It was cocktail time tonight (European Time) when I got the link for the interview, I really enjoyed it and it was perfect timing as I am driving to Italy tomorrow morning, my usual trip to Liguria. one of my stop will be near Imperia, but I just discovered that the Pasta Museum moved to Rom. Well as long as I get the pasta in my plate I will be happy. Next week I will shop at Genova’s Mercato Orientale (an orgy of colors) and try to cook your Coluccio Family Quick Linguine and Tomato Lunch! Reading your website I also discovered that you can find in New York one of my favorite shop in Genova… Eataly! So tomorrow it is FFF-Time… frittate, focaccia, farinata 🙂

    • Ah! J-J, my favorite “Swiss guy”! I could have you the museum moved to Rome and now, sadly, it is closed there, too. The direct tore tells me it will open in 2014—we shall see. You will need summer tomatoes for the Linguine and Tomato Lunch. How I wish I was driving with you on the road to Genova right now! Buon viaggio ed in abbraccio.

  4. It was wonderful to pull up a chair and hear your interview. How I would love to have an in person conversation with Julia della Croce. But you are right, now that we have embraced technology, the possibilities for communication have expanded. Looking forward to the future. Keep cooking!

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