Emiko Davies

About me

I am a photographer and writer with food, travel and art particularly close to my heart. I’ve been a traveler for as long as I can remember. Growing up with expat parents from two different continents (Japan and Australia) in China, Australia and the US, I think I was destined to be a roamer. Life took a turn for me when I quite randomly decided to move to Florence, Italy over six years ago. It had something to do with the food, plenty to do with the art and also a bit to do with the man who is now my husband – how can you not fall in love with a Tuscan man who cooks for you? I have a thing for the traditional, regional food of Italy and vintage cookbooks and think the best thing about living in Florence is finishing my day with a respectable glass of wine.

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My recent posts

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Posted 04/16/2012

“La Buona Forchetta” (The Good Fork)

The saucepans were overturned-to paraphrase biographer Jean Orieux-in 1533 when Catherine de’ Medici arrived in Paris as the 14-year-old Florentine bride of Henry II, the future king of France. What Orieux was referring to in his biography of Catherine de’ Medici was the Tuscan cuisine that sheinsisted on serving in her French court. Not only did she introduce dishes and vegetables that were to become the staples of modern French cuisine, but she even brought manners to the table, starting with the fork. Continue Reading…

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Posted 09/29/2011

A Florentine bartender turns heads in New York

Cod-infused gin gives a different slant to a Bloody Mary, a Martini is spiced up with Mexican worms, while vodka on the rocks is literally on the rocks, perhaps with some vermouth-infused black Mongolian stones. Well-loved Italian ingredients such as baccalà (salted cod), eggplant, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese and mascarpone are not what you normally think of putting into a cocktail, yet this forward-thinking Italian bartender has no qualms about turning tonight’s dinner into a drink.

Hailing from Florence, where the bartender worked at some of the Renaissance city’s best bars, Cristina Bini has been making headlines recently for her unusual cocktails, particularly her use of insects, but there’s much more to it than adding yuck-factor with some spicy Mexican worms or crispy scorpions to your drink. Continue Reading…

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Posted 08/29/2011

The Negroni: Story of a Florentine cocktail

Florence isn’t really known for its cocktails, and honestly, in a city surrounded by world-class vineyards, why should it? But there is one very classy cocktail that Florence can claim as its own: the Negroni.
Made of equal parts of Gin, Vermouth and unmistakeable, cherry-red coloured Campari, this aperitif is traditionally accompanied by lots of ice and a garnish of orange peel, all served in a tumbler. It one of the standard Florentine favourites, along with a couple of classic Northern Italian cocktails that have infiltrated literally every Tuscan bar, the Americano (Campari, vermouth and soda water) and the Venetian spritz (Aperol, soda and prosecco). Continue Reading…

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Posted 07/13/2011

Livorno, A Tuscan Melting Pot

At the hint of summer’s arrival, when the days grow longer but unbearably hotter, city-dwelling Tuscans flee to cooler places. Usually, the plan is an easy, breezy escape to the sea where working on a tan and eating copious amounts of fresh seafood are involved. One of the favourite areas is the Etruscan coast, a beautiful part of Tuscany with pretty beaches, untouched nature and, more importantly, fantastic food.

It begins at Livorno, a port city that is widely overlooked, and runs a good 60 miles to Piombino. While the rest of the coast is dotted with beaches, inviting coves, medieval villages, vineyards and olive groves, Livorno is one of those places with a rough-around-the-edges exterior but a down to earth interior. Continue Reading…

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Posted 06/10/2011

La Scarpetta: Licking the plate clean

You know when you have that irresistible saucy goodness on your plate at the end of a meal that makes you seriously consider licking your plate like a starving maniac in public? Well the Italians have come up with a great solution for that. It’s called la scarpetta.

Fare la scarpetta, roughly translated as “to do the little shoe,” is the very charming act of using a small piece of bread to mop up the wonderful sauce on your plate that you cannot possibly leave behind. Imagine you’ve just had a bowl of steaming mussels cooked in a juicy white wine sauce, a classic spaghetti with rich tomato sauce or your favourite roast dripping with a beautiful gravy or jus – your plate will just be screaming out to be wiped clean with a scarpetta, so you can prolong the pleasure of savouring every single last drop of that tasty sauce left behind. Continue Reading…

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