Why do I lead culinary adventures to Italy and France? It’s simple, I want to share my love of cooking, eating, breaking bread, and truly “living” with those who travel with me. When my husband Richard and I journeyed with our daughters and friends to Italy in 2012, I realized that the time we spent together––especially the cooking and dining together––was life changing. I call it a “soulful shift in my life’s direction.”
Why was Italy 2012 so life changing? Life gets busy for all of us. We may have careers, children, organizations we work with, animals, parents, siblings, and friends who need us. Schedules…money…the list can go on and on. So, when I stepped onto the plane at Logan Airport, I mentally gave myself permission to leave my business obligations, my responsibilities to others, and my schedule on the tarmac in Boston. Once we took off, I decided I would immerse myself in the Italian culture. Letting go of my everyday universe was hard, but it allowed me some time to rethink my goals. At the end of the trip, I knew deep down that I was going to shift my career to food & wine, and change the pace of my life. After 22 days in Italy, I realized I needed more time with those that I loved, and less time with people, groups, and things that did not fill my soul with joy. I also wanted to build something that would last and create experiences that bring happiness and joy to others.
Not to gloss over the next four to five years, but in that time I closed my retail store, went to culinary school, moved from our beloved Charlestown to Norwell, MA, and settled our younger daughter into a new school. Some of those decisions were painful and difficult. Closing our retail business in a community that we adored and lived in was heartbreaking. Deciding to sell our house and move from our beloved Charlestown was scary and exciting at the same time but we wanted more space for a garden, and we needed a change after closing the store. Conversely, culinary school was an exciting and magical time for me. It was there that I decided I wanted to open my own cooking school and to create culinary adventures to places that cherish food, wine, olive oil, art, and history.
Stay tuned to this edible South Shore & South Coast blog for my second post as I continue my story about my culinary school adventure and the start of my new business.
Mangia bene, vivi felice!
Recipe: Gnocchi – From my friend and Chef, Lorena.
500 gr. (approx. 2-3 medium) Potatoes
50 gr. (approx. 1/2 cup) Parmesan
200 gr. (approx. 1 1/2 cups) Flour
A pinch of nutmeg
(This is why you should measure by grams/weight instead of cups.)
Wash the potatoes well.
Boil and mash the potatoes with the potato masher. Let them cool, then add the other ingredients and mix together until the dough is smooth and soft.
Shape it into long shape (like a snake!) and cut it in strips (1 inch wide).
Again, cut the strips into smaller pieces and separate them with the help of the flour. Boil in salted water until they float.
About Chef Abby Gray:
Abby Gray is a Private Chef, mother, wife, sister, daughter, and entrepreneur. After years in advertising and publishing, she opened a gift boutique & events business in Charlestown, MA. Here she further developed her “Cooking with Abby” business plan and “Culinary Adventures Ideas.” Always passionate about food, and feeding her family, friends, clients, and strangers, Abby, at almost 50 years old, has settled into her perfect career.