Italian Meal

Last weekend I was hired by an Italian family for a 25th anniversary… imagine 35 people in someone’s home!

I don’t get nervous when I cook for people, but this one got to me as it was an important event in their life. Not to mention that it was like having 35 food critics for dinner all at once. I have enough experience to give my meal an Italian flair, but that flair was nothing compared to the personalities of the crowd I cooked for! They were everything you might imagine in an Italian family, or any large family for that matter…

There was an uncle dressed in black that looked as if he was fresh out of The Sopranos. There was one uncle who was always telling dirty jokes and there was another one who was offering advice to everyone whether they needed it or not. But there were not only men at this gathering: Grandma was very much alive and had great spirit. Of course, all the ladies would gravitate to the kitchen sink every hour or so, like this was the place where the ladies have been for the last two thousand years.

The food turned out very nice, if I do say so myself. I gave them an Italian feast “a la French style”. Everyone loved the tenderloin, the prawns were a success and dessert hit it out of the park. Overall, a great family meal was shared together to celebrate an event in someone’s life, and nobody was left out doing the work in the kitchen. After all, a 25th anniversary is an accomplishment.

I truly enjoyed contributing to this special day. I felt like I was back in Quebec with a huge family where no one talks about anyone else’s quirks, but rather it is just a real social event. The focus is on the event and the food, not on the dysfunction. I had a great time, and it gave me hope for human kind. I still believe that food can really be the gum that holds our society together for the next few hundred years.

Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, laughter, wine, garlic, parsley, lemon, pinches on the cheeks, basil, oregano and voila, you got yourself a great authentic Italian meal. Come to think of it, that is what makes an authentic family meal from any place.

I miss my folks!

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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