Stoneground flour, extra virgin olive oil, hand picked prunes dripping with sticky juice. With each recipe I stir up childhood memories of years gone by.
The dozy afternoons spent under the kiwi pergola, the burnt smell of the fire, the smokey moka dribbling on the hot wood cooker.
And the soft Genoise sponge of my grandma melting in my mouth. The only cake she knew how to make.
In my cooking there is the desire to go back to that humble farm house. Rise hens, make bread, mill olives. Wake up with the down and rest in the burning light of red sunsets.
A simplicity that leaved space for the details of a life. Listen. Smell. Watch. Cry. Laugh. Work. Rest.
My photography and the time I spend styling are a act of devotion towards those gone moments. Maybe, are my inner path towards when we will really go back to that stone house in the middle of a chestnut wood. There my I Phone will probably turn to be the most no sense object ever.
Hi! I'm Silvia the creator of Salvia+Limone. I'm Italian, therefore I just love good company and good food. Within the years I also realised that for something to be good, has to be right.
I am a former designer somehow turned into a food stylist, food photography teacher and accredited macrobiotic chef. I live with my husband ( a pretty cool guy if you ask me) and two cheeky monkeys in the cosmopolitan multifaceted London.
My favourite food is the one made with love. But cakes have a special appeal on me, they just talk beauty and they can make every moment a honest luxury. I like my coffee (always with a sprinkle of Cordicept) and here is not such a thing as too many cats in a life.
I don't believe in arrival picks, but in mindfully chosen paths. And hard work always pays off in a way or another.
Our diet is plant based, organic & 0 kilometres whenever possible. We advocate of "the less is more" lifestyle, striving to consume less and waste none.
What. And Why.
Years ago I left my corporate job as fashion designer in Milan, to start working as self employed photographer. It was a big decision, bigger than I could somehow handle. Can you imagine being very young, naive and ...and the crisis hits in the moment you take the leap . I soon felt completely overwhelmed. You can safely say I landed on my face. But, (and there is always a but), I grew out of my crisis learning an awful lot about compassion VS comparison and many other aspects of life that I doubt I would have learned so deeply otherwise.
After moving to London and two pregnancies later, I had done a 3 year course in Macrobiotic and Shiatzu and I was teaching myself new skills as food photographer.
To be honest with you, I started from the rock bottom both emotionally and in therms of knowledge. Took me ages to start a career. Has been a hard path and I wish I had a mentor or a teacher that could give me useful insights. But I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, don't you believe it too?
Now I works as photographer, stylist and teacher. I also cook for a selected number of events during the year.
And that. not - so - fun start fuelled my passion to teach and help other creatives develop they food styling and photography skills, and have a easer path than mine.
When it comes to work I am a brick and mortar kinda girl . And wishy washy contents drive me bananas, I LOVE tangible notions, structure and answers. Chances are, you feel the same as me.
For all these reasons tangible is what I deliver when I teach.
From my home studio I have tough to students coming from all over the world.
I am a natural teacher wired by my southern blood to communicate and share my skills with passion and open heart. I am committed to help my students towards their next step ahead with their food styling and photography.
I collaborate with other photographer for workshops and event, for those you can go to my workshop page.
I also cook as private chef only for selected events and teach few cooking classes during the year.
Salvia+Limone. Where the name comes from ( a bit of history and chat if you can spare some more time)
It means Sage+Lemon and comes from the favour of the stylish Mera & Longhi candy. Back into my childhood these botanical candies inspired me unimaginable flavours associations and an iconic branding. Both ingredients are widely used in Liguria and well represent its culinary dichotomy of rock-growing herbs and rich exotic delicacies ( citrus were once considered exotic).
Liguria has a generous confectionery heritage, starting from the Middle Ages. The sea trades of Genoa with Morocco and India introduced to the region a wide range of recipes and rare ingredients. Especially the so called Arabic Salt extracted form the tropical sugar cane, imported for the first time by Cristoforo Colombo. But also cacao, vanilla and other rare spices, were making Ligurian patisserie and confetti tradition one of the finest in Europe, supplying Versailles and the court of Spain ( that is why Genoise sponge is also called Pan di Spagna "bread of Spain") .
However the commonalty had no access to sugar, and butter wasn't so diffused either. The festivities were celebrated with mildly sweet breads filled with raisins and little honey. Chestnuts flour also was used to make simple desserts. And olive oil was used instead of butter in many recipes.
Citrus were imported, and blessed by that unusual tropical climate that Liguria can vaunt, grew effortlessly. Even Claude Monet celebrated the beauty of the landscapes with their the abundance of citrus and colours. Especially Chinotto and Bergamotto, more rare and flavourful citrus.
Cedro and Orange rids were glazed, and with sultans used to fill breads and focaccia during celebrations. Rose water was distilled to fill glass clear confetti. Glazed orange rid and fresh alkekengi were imbibed in chocolate for a delightful after-dinner.
On the other hand, the religion and the harsh land often imposed periods of “magro” or “strettissimo magro”, meaning “meagre” and "strict meagre" and referring to a strict vegetarian and vegan diet. But having little, made people creativity grew wild. Recipes like Pesto alla Genovese, Pan di Spagna and many others were born in Liguria and are now famous worldwide.
The sea breeze, the vegan friendly recipes and the former people creativity, is often my inspiration behind Salvia+Limone.
I hope you will enjoy to make my recipes as much as I enjoy to create and share them.