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Mary Contini - Author

About the Author

Mary Contini grew up in East Lothian above her family's Italian cafe. She is the bestselling author of numerous books about Italian life and cooking, including Dear Francesca, Dear Olivia, Valvona & Crolla: A Year at an Italian Table and The Italian Sausage Bible. She is a Director of Valvona & Crolla, the renowned Edinburgh delicatessen, restaurant and cookery school.

Featured books by Mary Contini

Other books by Mary Contini

Dear Alfonso An Italian Feast of Love and Laughter

Dear Alfonso An Italian Feast of Love and Laughter

Author: Mary Contini Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/08/2019

`This is how I was born. At 7.30 a.m. at the Istituto Annunziata in Napoli on 1 May 1925...' So begins a manuscript, handwritten by Carlo Contini, which lay forgotten and unread for years. The scrawling script unfolds an incredible tale of poverty, adventure and survival which Carlo had not shared with his family during his life time, but left as a moving and extraordinary legacy for them. Inspired by this document, Carlo's daughter-in-law, Mary Contini, relates in her inimitable style the story of Carlo's life from wartime Pozzuoli, near Naples, and Genoa, and eventually to Edinburgh, where he arrived in 1952 on a three-month visa to learn English. Here his life was to change forever when he met Olivia Crolla and married into her family business, the delicatessen Valvona & Crolla. His experiences and background were a key part of the development of that fledgling business. Heart-warming, moving and filled with laughter and love, Dear Alfonso is a wonderful celebration of food, family and friendship.

Valvona & Crolla A Year at an Italian Table

Valvona & Crolla A Year at an Italian Table

Author: Mary Contini, Philip Contini Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2009

Valvona & Crolla has been described as 'the Sistine chapel of continental delis'. Founded in 1934 by the Continis' ancestors, the Italian shop and restaurant is legendary in food circles for its excellent food and drink. Now, co-owners Mary (author of the bestselling Dear Francesca and co-author of the Easy Peasy cooking series) presents 200 delicious and authentic recipes. Organised season by season, the book offers a year of sumptuous delights from around the country of her heritage, together with recommendations for wines to match them. Starting with the festive flavours of winter, such as a creamy chestnut soup with smoked pancetta, moving on to the best of spring's vegetables with a broad bean and spinach frittata, fresh seafood dishes in the summer, and finishing with the truffles, olive pressings and slow-cooked casseroles of the autumn, this beautifully written and evocatively photographed book adds up to a food diary of personal stories, history, anecdotes and recipes, all imbued with the warmth and local knowledge that only a true Italian family, passionate about food, can deliver.

Easy Peasy Baking

Easy Peasy Baking

Author: Mary Contini Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2008

The Easy Peasy philosophy is based on the passionate belief that children can get enormous pleasure out of learning to cook real food. Easy Peasy Baking focuses on the most popular area of kids' cooking - baking - with over 80 recipes to tempt kids into the kitchen. Mary Contini draws on her experience running teaching sessions for children of all ages to provide a book that shows children how to cook for real. Starting with basic techniques and preparation, she then moves into recipes that not only taste delicious, but are also enormous fun to cook, from breads and buns to pizzas, cakes and pastries. She never loses sight of the fact that it should be fun - giving helpful hints, humorous advice and taking a fuss-free approach that cannot fail to appeal.The recipes are suitable for children who are just starting to cook but can also be enjoyed by kids who are well into their teens. Colorfully designed with easily accessible and delicious recipes Easy Peasy Baking will be a must-have for old and new fans alike.

Dear Olivia An Italian Journey of Love and Courage

Dear Olivia An Italian Journey of Love and Courage

Author: Mary Contini Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2007

In this fascinating follow-up to the highly successful Dear Francesca, Mary Contini writes to her other daughter, Olivia, to tell the story of her great-grandparents, the humble Italian shepherds who emigrated to Edinburgh and then helped to transform Britain's food culture. Sharing some of the recipes that they brought over, the tomatoes, the garlic, the sausage, the wine, this is a mouthwatering memoir of family and food. It is also a brilliant evocation of life between the wars, a triumphant story of survival against all the odds, that captures the sights and smells of Italian life and culture, at home and abroad.

Dear Francesca

Dear Francesca

Author: Mary Contini Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2003

Written by leading cookery author Mary Contini, this delightful narrative is in the bestselling tradition of Anthony Bourdain and Annie Hawes. It tells the tale of the Di Ciacca family, tracing their journey from the barren Abruzzi mountains to the chilly streets of post-war Edinburgh. Addressing her daughter Francesca as she embarks on independent life, this is a compelling, often moving, family history in which Contini describes her ancestors' loves and lives in their adopted homeland where traditions were kept alive around the dinner table. With characters as colourful as in any novel, this is a book that will appeal to anyone who loves Italian food and wishes to share in a sense of family. It adds up to one of the most original books for food lovers in recent years, blending great narrative with heartwarming recipes and recollections.

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