Tucci Goes to Italy: Recap Part 2

Happy Saturday Guys!

I hope you guys enjoyed my part 1 recap in my last post, and now I’m back with part 2, where I’m going to dive into Eating in Italy, Gluten and Local Foods.

Also, hold up, can you believe it’s October today– but seriously it’s pumpkin and chai everything right now so I’m not complaining. Speaking of which, I’m currently sitting in my most FAV café, Tamp Coffee out in Burlington sipping on a coconut milk Chai latte – it’s such a treat!

Alright so the #1 question I got prior to my trip was “Are you ACTUALLY going to eat Gluten?” …it’s hilarious because people ask that question as if I’m committing fraud and might go to jail.


To be clear….yes – I ate ALL the gluten. I didn’t purposely seek it out but going on this trip I wanted to embrace all local foods that were available. I wanted to respect the process of how real food was made there. I simply wanted to respect tradition. Also I have a new found appreciation for the term Slow Food now – which is exactly how food is prepared and enjoyed Italy: slow, with love and enjoyed together as a family. I didn’t want to be a total spaz and I wanted to use this time to loosen any residual food rules I may have had.

I don’t have celiac but I went gluten free for other health reasons many years ago – which you can read about in my personal story. However, no one ever really lived without a little risk right?? 😉




I also had a pretty rude awakening at a truffle farm after a chat with one of the owners: We were lucky enough to spend the day on a truffle farm, where we got to go truffle hunting and experience a beautiful homemade meal by the wife/co owner of the farm. Francesca. During the hike, he asked me about health trends in Toronto, so I started to chat about the various “health food” trends. He literally look at me like I was crazy, I then actually started to feel a little crazy ha! He then said, why aren’t people just focused on eating real food like we do here……and you know what – he was 100% right. This really stuck with me, if we really stopped obessing over all the “health trends” and “health rules” we’d probably live better, live happier and probably feel healthier.

With all the trends, books, articles and products – we have forgotten about the notion of slow food, real food and eating food the way nature indented. This was my largest take away from my travels in Umbria.

Now, I can’t lie – towards the end of the week I wasn’t feeling all so well however what I really think this was attributed too was the overconsumption of food in general and not the type of food.

Our meals each day, were fantastic and very lush. Both Chef Rob and Chef Pia (she was the local chef of Locanda Del Gallo) really wanted to showcase as much as they could of what the local lands offered. There was a lot of pride taken into the preparation of each meal, therefor I wanted to savour every bite. No regrets, because the food experience I had was unforgettable – especially as a chef.


Now being home, one thing I really want to do is expand the types of food I make and expand even further into the ingredients I plan to use. In the health realm, especially, it’s easy to stick to the same foods and not veer to far from them. I’m guilty of doing that too at times, however this is something I plan to change – it brings more excitement and more diverse nutrition into your daily routine.

Sometimes we just need to listen to our own gut and go with what feels right to us! I’m feeling re-inspired and re-energized with food and being in the kitchen, without limitations or rules that aren’t always necessary!

Speaking of which, I’m off to go do some baking – I have some really nice sprouted millet flour that I’d like to make into cinnamon scones, I live large on Saturday nights obviously .

Ciao for now

-Chef Steph


4 thoughts on “Tucci Goes to Italy: Recap Part 2

  1. Danielle @ Wild Coast Tales says:

    I was the exact same when I was in Italy last year. I eat GF and dairy-free at home and have for 5+ years but I figured… when in Rome, literally! I loved the emphasis on whole foods and high quality, fresh ingredients in Italy. Everything was just so simple and delicious, and definitely much slower paced! I think one of the reasons I love travel is for that reminder that health isn’t necessarily following all the crazy health trends, but just enjoy and eating real food.

    Sounds like you had some amazing food experiences!


  2. Austin Norris says:

    Looks like you had an incredible time! Good on ya for taking a risk reintroducing gluten into your diet. I’m gluten free 80-90% of the year and reintroduce it now and then which I find builds some tolerance to it.

    If you haven’t already, check out Carl Honore’s book, In Praise of Slow for more in the “Slow” movement!


    • stucci01 says:

      I totally agree with you! I think putting gluten in your system every now and then is a smart move to build up tolerance. If we constantly keep removing, our body will never develop a strong enough digestive system to even tolerate a small amount. I will check out the book forsure!


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