Emiko Davies

After growing up in an international household – she spent eight childhood/teen years living in Beijing, China, with her Japanese mother and Australian father – it was perhaps inevitable that Emiko Davies would find herself halfway around the world later in life. She first visited Florence while studying at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island (where she subsequently graduated with a Fine Arts degree in printmaking). On her first visit to Italy as part of a semester abroad arrangement, 21-year-old Davies arrived at Santa Maria Novella station with nothing but a suitcase and some broken Italian. Captivated by the country's culture and beauty, she returned four years later as the recipient of an Italian government scholarship to study art restoration. She also met and fell in love with handsome local sommelier Marco Lami – in her words, her ideal gastronomic partner in crime. Regional Italian cuisine won her affections, too (her favourite dishes include the eggless milk pudding dessert biancomangiare, and baby octopus soup). Davies began her now five-year-old blog www.emikodavies.com while living in Florence as a way to tell a story that she had become increasingly fascinated with: about Tuscan food, its history and almost strict adherence to traditions. But after seven years in Florence, with the economic crisis setting deep in Italy, she and Lami decided to move to Australia – first to Melbourne, where now two-year-old Mariu was born, then Canberra to be with family. During this time, Davies focused on her writing (including the major coup of a weekly column on regional Italian food for popular New York-based website Food52), and Lami worked for some of the country's top restaurateurs, including Andrew McConnell and Neil Perry.  Italy's pull proved too strong, however, and the couple relocated there indefinitely with their daughter in March 2015. Lami, whose family are from the town of Fucecchio in the greater province of Florence, has taken a seasonal job as head sommelier at Michelin-starred Il Pellicano at a resort on an island in southern Tuscany. And Davies will continue her writing from there, including a new biweekly column for Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The theme of the Cucina Corriere blog is classic Italian cookbooks – essentially she shares often forgotten jewels from classic, sometimes historic, Italian cookbooks.   Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser (also editor of The Essential New York Times Cookbook) calls Davies a "renaissance woman for the internet era". Anyone familiar with Davies' blog will know those words to be true: in addition to her formidable cooking and writing talents, Davies is an accomplished photographer and illustrator. 

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Books by Emiko Davies