About Me

Faustina Gilbey

My dream for many years was to live in Italy and finally, after many visits it happened…or to quote Marcel Proust.. “my dream became my address”.

I’ve spent most of my life travelling the world, writing, cooking and experimenting in the kitchen – so food anthropology and global cuisines have always played a major role in my life.

Of course, on my travels, I’ve eaten wonderful food, but what I enjoyed the most were the colourful food and spice markets of India, Asia, Middle East and Africa and watching dishes being created with simple local ingredients, herbs and spices. The smells, the smoke from the woks, frypans and fires, the noise of knives chopping, grills hissing and the shouting of vendors and eaters was like walking through an ancient, magical world.

Whenever I travelled I rarely ate meat – the occasional spicy grasshopper in Bangkok or a crispy duck treat in Bali, but otherwise, I ate as the locals ate, mainly vegetarian.

Now I live in beautiful Northern Italy and I’ve been exploring the country and it’s classic cuisine, meeting local food growers, farmers and food producers in the nearby mountains, valleys and lakes and matching Italy’s wonderful produce with foods and spices from my travels.

And this is what I am enjoying now – writing, teaching and demonstrating simple ideas for cooking with plants, herbs and spices. I’m passionate about promoting a healthier and more plant-based diet both for us and for the planet.

Short Biography

Faustina is English and has lived in Northern Italy for the past twelve years dividing her time between the mountainous Bergamo region near Milan and the wine region of Barolo in Piemonte.

She has travelled extensively in her life doing freelance cooking and catering (from cramped boat galleys to airplane hangars & rock band tours); made a pilot African food documentary in Nelson Mandela’s homeland; researched and written recipes for a CBC-TV daily cooking programme, has written her own cookbook and she now writes and blogs about her life in Italy through the lens of food and health.

She is a qualified Vegetarian and Vegan Nutritionist, a member of the Complementary Medical Association and a member of the Italian Slow Food Movement. She has been teaching and demonstrating the benefits of eating plant-based foods, spices, raw food and juices in Italy and is now working on a cookbook of her recipes and food stories.

Dip. Vegetarian & Vegan Nutritionist, IAHT, MCMA