photo credits @pastalab_tuscany

photo credits @pastalab_tuscany

salvialimone portrait

about salvia limone

Stone ground 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 dripping 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.

Through my cooking there is the desire to go back to that humble farm house, to raise hens, make bread, mill olives. To wake up with the dawn and rest in the burning light of red sunsets. A simplicity that leaves space for the details of life. Listen. Smell. Watch. Cry. Laugh. Work. Rest. Be Together.

My photography and the time I spend styling are an act of devotion toward those moments past. Maybe my inner path is guiding me back to that stone house in the middle of a chestnut wood, where my iphone will probably turn to out be the most nonsensical 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 foods are made with love. But cakes have a special appeal to me, they just embody beauty and can make every moment an honest luxury. I like my coffee (always with a sprinkle of Cordicept) and here there is no such thing as too many cats in life. I don't believe in fated eventualities, but in mindfully chosen paths. And hard work always pays off in one way or another.
I believe hard work always pays off in a way or another.

Our diet is plant based, organic & locally surced whenever possible. We are advocates of "the less is more" lifestyle, striving to consume less and wasting nothing.

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 was 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. Cacao, vanilla and other rare spices, were also 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 common folk had no access to sugar, and butter was not readily available either. The festivities were celebrated with mild sweet breads filled with raisins and a bit of honey. Chestnut flour was also used to make simple desserts. And olive oil was used instead of butter in many recipes.
Citrus was imported, and blessed by that unusual tropical climate that Liguria can vaunt, it grew effortlessly. Even Claude Monet celebrated the beauty of the landscapes abundant with citrus and colours. Especially Chinotto and Bergamotto, more rare and flavourful citrus. Cedro and Orange rinds were glazed, and along with sultans used to fill breads and focaccia during celebrations. Glazed orange rid and fresh alkekengi were imbibed in chocolate for a delightful after-dinner. And Rose Water to fill transparent sugar candies.

On the other hand, the religion and harsh land conditions often imposed periods of “magro” or “strettissimo magro”, meaning “meagre” and "strict meagre", referring to a strict vegetarian and vegan diet. But having little, made people wildly creative. 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 creativity of earlier generations, is often my inspiration behind Salvia+Limone.

I hope you will enjoy making my recipes as much as I enjoy creating and sharing them!

silvia bifaro_ salvialimone
about _salvialimone