Emily is a full-time cookbook author and olive oil sommelier with a background in chemistry and cultural anthropology. To have the opportunity to cook, taste and learn from Emily is an experience that you will want to repeat over and over again.
Emily has so much to share, you will need more than one visit to fully appreciate all that she offers. This experience is about the culture surrounding olive oil and is showcased through a Greek menu influenced by her family roots in Greece.
Olive Oil Sommelier and Cookbook Author
“Don’t be afraid to play with your food. I see cooking as an art, be creative. No one would tell you not to take a palate of paint and not mix the colours. You should have fun and be connected with your food. I always have an element of curiosity when I am cooking to see how a dish is going to develop.”
I was born in Brantford Ontario. My Mum is from Victoria, Vancouver Island and I was fortunate to spend my summers there. I have fond memories of picking blackberries on the roadside and being aware that what we ate, we grew and picked from the garden. I grew up on the kitchen counter as my mother is a passionate cook and she passed on the love of food and cooking to me.
When I met my husband Steve, I became very close to his family. Steve’s mother is Italian and Father Greek. Steve and I spent some time living in Europe and visited the family olive grove in the countryside outside the small town of Fano in central Italy. I learned so much, we were there for harvest, experiencing the community that comes together to pick the olives. Being in the mill when the olives are crushed and made into olive oil this is what started my fascination with olive oil.
Upon our return to Vancouver Island, I couldn’t find the quality of olive oil I was used to in Italy and thus began my obsession with olive oil. I started importing olive oil and shortly after opened a retail store educating, teaching, and sharing this juice I had grown to love so incredibly much.
I really fell in love with cooking when I was in university and I realized I could make an array of tasty dishes with very simple equipment. I was the one where everyone gathered. I love how good food connects people and brings people together.
Olive oil! One of my favourite types is Frantoio which is a classic central Italian Tuscan variety, it is very herbacious, pungent. Frantoio is one of the varieties my husband’s aunt grows, it is very nostalgic for me.
Eggplant, I love how creative it is, you can roast it, sauté it, make chips out it. Eggplant absorbs any flavour. Lilacs are also a favourite of mine; they taste the way they smell. I often make a Lilac simple syrup to pour over a Lilac sponge cake.
Don’t be afraid to play with your food. I see cooking as an art, be creative. No one would tell you not to take a palate of paint and not mix the colours. You should have fun and be connected with your food. I always have an element of curiosity when I am cooking to see how a dish is going to develop.