Rethink your next bath…

I’ve always loved the food and wine industry. I mean really, how can one resist?  Learn how to tourne a potato, get that perfect sear on your T-Bone steak or decant that Barolo you’ve been saving. The food and wine world has it all and is always re-inventing itself.

Today I came across this article from and had to share and comment.  I enjoy wine as much as the next person. Have you seen my Instagram? More bottles than people in my photos…kidding but really a wine bath or excuse em moi also known as ‘Vinothérapie’? I’m not so sure A) it’s a good use of such a product that takes skill, time and patience to make  B) that I’d submerge myself in it and not at least have the faint desire to ‘drink’ it  C)  it really works.

gfitzp via Flickr

gfitzp via Flickr

I’ve been a reading about the positive effects of resveratrol for years, but in this manner might just be too much to handle and to believe. Let’s think about this rationally. The spas that offer the wine baths state  “soak in a concentrate of {insert grape type} grapes and experience the antioxidant effects of red wine.”  Let’s examine that. You can bathe in wine or grapeseed laced  juice all you want, but the benefits and positive effects of resveratrol are in the skins of grapes. I haven’t read about any baths that include skins. Strike One.

wine skin

What else do wine baths have to offer “It is the perfect experience for the skin to feel pampered and recover the ideal level of hydration.” Hmm. submerged in warm ethanol laced liquid = hydration? Cleopatra did it, but I’m going to go with NO.  Fact: Alcohol dehydrates your insides and probably your ‘outsides’. Strike Two.

Oh, you’re saying that some baths are not filled with wine , but wine extracts? Ahh, that changes things. NOT. There is overwhelming data that shows there are a ton of benefits to resveratrol, the antioxodants and polyphenols associated with it…the problem is absorption. There is still no magic pill or bath for that magic to happen.

I’ll make Strike Three quick and painless. Vinotherapists claim wine baths increase circulation. Listen. Run a hot bath with jets and bam!, you have improved circulation. Basically, the temperature of the water  increases the temperature of the body, which in turn dilates the blood vessels for greater blood flow and overall improved circulation. You don’t need wine for that. Good old Epsom salt in your bath would work just as well.

I don’t know about any of you, but I’m just as happy enjoying my next bath with this alongside me and not wasted in my bathtub. Cheers!

how to enjoy wine

how to enjoy wine

3 Reasons to Love Italy – NOW!!

Obviously, there are more than 3 things to love about Italy. This post will focus on 3 things to love, right now!

1. Expo Milano! In case you don’t know this year’s World’s Fair is in Milan, Italy. What’s the World’s Fair? – Honestly all you need to know right now is that it is in Milan. That’s the top reason to go. Kidding aside, this year’s theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. How cool is that?

The exposition site covers 110 hectares (272 acres) and is expected to attract 29 million visitors and is representing over 150 countries with 60 countries building their own pavilions. It will run from from 01 May 2015 to 31 October 2015. Think Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort, but with 150 countries! I can’t believe I get to type this next sentence. I get to work at the USA Pavilion for the next 6 months! WHAT! More on that later….

New York Times rated Milan as their top pick for travel this year. Not only due to Expo, but the city is also undergoing a sort of transformation, from a revived harbor area to restored canals and a new focus on cuisine to rival its sister cities in Italy. The city of Milan and the Expo site will be animated by artistic and musical events, conferences, performances, workshops and exhibitions.

Expo 2015 will be the platform for an exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, will stimulate the creativity of the countries and promote innovations for a sustainable future and will offer everyone the opportunity to know and taste the best dishes of the world. The world’s greatest chefs, farmers and food innovators will discuss and display how we can increase sustainability and increase our energy resources.

 Love Italy for hosting such an important event that will have an impact on food for years to come.

Did you buy your ticket yet?


Book Review: Fancy Desserts by Brooks Headley of Del Posto, NYC

I love cookbooks. They tell a story, allow for a mental journey, and teach you something new. All good things in my book (no pun intended).

Fancy Desserts was written by Chef Brooks Headley, James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Pastry Chef and pastry chef at Del Posto. He describes his cooking style as “buzzed Italian grandma.” Oh, and did I mention he plays the drums for punk rock bands?

What do you envision when you picture a pastry chef in one of the most elegant restaurants in NYC with a Michelin Star, a coveted 4 star review from The New York Times, someone who was recently voted not only New York’s best Italian restaurant, but all of America’s? You’re thinking a serious expression, a tall toque, mastery of sugar art. You could imagine the pressure of working under the nation’s top Italian restaurateurs and chefs – Mario Batali, Lidia and Joe Bastianich and Mark Ladner.

Meet chef Brooks Headley:

brooks signing

Knife Sharpening Basics

As a food lover and someone who respects kitchen principles, we will discuss some basics here and there. I had no intention to write about knife sharpening right now. What compelled me? In preparation for my upcoming trip to Italy, I had some of my knives sharpened…… by a knife sharpening service I never used. Needless to say, I am horrified.

Preparing for Pasqua-Easter Day 2 : Strufoli

So, we made Pastiera di Grano in celebration of Easter:Pasqua. I had a nice piece for breakfast today.

Today we’re making another Italian, Neapolitan dessert. STRUFOLI  Just about everyone knows what they are when they see them. They are small, sometimes tiny balls of dough that are friend and then coated with honey and sprinkles. They are traditionally made during Easter and Christmas {Natale}


Some make them the size of a pea, while others make them as big as a grape. Depends upon what your nonna liked to do.

They take a little time and love (like most things in life), but they are well worth it.

Here’s how we make them

Preparing for Pasqua-Easter – Pastiera di Grano

This will be the first ‘Pasqua’ my family and I spend home together. For the past 20+ years we celebrated Easter at our family’s restaurant.


We keep certain traditions for Easter. One of them is making the Italian Easter Wheat Pies or Pastiera di Grano. Delicious, sweet and for any kid that grew up in an Italian kitchen, it brings back sweet memories.

We’ve been making these every Easter since..before I was born. We cut no corners. All from scratch.

Here’s how we make it.

Got WastEd

..and it was Amazing! Last night my sister and I had a ‘sister celebration’ dinner. Part to celebrate our new chapters in life – I’m heading to Expo Milano 2015 , she had an adorable second baby and we transitioned La Famiglia to our new food blog ‘Ponte Di Cibo‘- Bridge to Food. (Pardon its infant in progress).

wasted duo

I don’t feel I could do justice to the already well written articles about the WastEd experience. I can say it was educational, informative and absolutely delicious.

Who doesn’t love a Glossary on the back of the menu! I love it!

wasted glossary

Here are 3 articles that provide in depth information and beautiful photos:


Getting WastEd


Tonight my sister and I will dine at Blue Hill in NYC. If you have never been..make your reservation …..right now.

Dan Barber, food God, author, chef, sustainable food pioneer transformed his restaurant into a pop-up , called WastEd for the month of March. What’s so interesting about that? Well, his menu is based upon food scraps. The odds and ends that sadly make it to the trash. Not only that, the interior has been transformed using sustainable, habitat friendly fabrics, furnishings.

Sounds weird? Well, then you didn’t grow up in grandma’s (nonna’s) kitchen.

Benvenuti! Welcome!

I finally did it. After nearly 10 years, I’ve started a blog! Yippee. You’re asking, what does ‘Ponte di Cibo’ mean? Quick Italian lesson: ‘ponte’ = Bridge. Like the ‘Ponte Vecchio in Florence. ‘cibo’ = Food.

The goal of this blog is to share recipes, stories, memories, travels and experiences which come from our ‘food memory’. In that way we ‘bridge the gap’ between food and what it means to us and how we share it on a daily basis. I know. That’s a lot to chew on and is ‘kinda deep’, but hang with me and see where we’ll go!

I will also introduce you to some ins and outs of the restaurant industry. Let’s face it, we are all in some way fascinated by what goes on in restaurants dining rooms and kitchens. Take a look at how many sites there are about servers, customers, food critics, restaurants reviews, etc.

Lastly, I’ll share some great connections to Italy and its famous foodies, food products, chefs, bloggers and history. Who doesn’t love Italy and all things Italian! Let’s expand our knowledge beyond Rome, pizza and gelato. There’s so much more!