With heritage like Valentina’s, it is no wonder she is such a well-respected authority on Italian food and food culture.
Tracing her family back to 1369 through the illustrious Sforza dynasty, Valentina is the youngest member of a large Anglo-Italian family of gourmets. Educated in Italy, Valentina brought her qualifications for teaching and cooking from Rome to London in 1976, where she built her reputation primarily as a private chef until the publication of her first award-winning cookery book in 1984; Perfect Pasta.
The award winning author of over 45 books on Italian food, Valentina is a well known celebrity chef, a tremendous raconteur and passionate about sharing her food philosophy, techniques, stories, intricate history, and her experiences during a long career in the world of food. Valentina is also a regular face at food festivals in the UK as well as contributing to radio, TV and magazine articles. She also undertakes private catering commissions for a variety of high profile clients.
Valentina is also an experienced and enthusiastic teacher at a number of schools including Divertimenti and Caldesi in London, The School of Artisan Food in Welbeck and
The Bertinet Kitchen in Bath, advocating the use of local, seasonal produce served with minimum fuss and maximum care.
As the proprietor, principal tutor and regulator at Cucina Valentina she organises culinary adventures across Europe, specializing in bespoke gastronomic culinary experiences and cookery courses providing her wealth of knowledge of both food and wine. This includes truffle hunting, visits to local olive oil and food producers and wine tastings. She is an extraordinary individual providing personal anecdotes about her family life in Italy and her first experience of learning to cook at the age of six with the family chef who taught her everything she knows about growing produce for the kitchen.
As President of the London chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Valentina is committed to strengthening the position of professional women in the world of food, beverage and hospitality, and uses her wealth of experience to mentor young women who dream of a career within it. This philanthropic organisation was founded in the USA in 1975 and also has branches in Canada.
Valentina’s London chapter is the first chapter outside of North America.
Fiori di Zucca: Recipes and Memories from My Family's Kitchen Table is Valentina’s latest and long awaited book of family memoirs and recipes, published by Duncan Baird Publishers in June 2013. Her books cover food across Venice, Rome, Sicily Tuscany Bologna and Milan and her best seller "Risotto Risotto" is due to be re-published in 2017
Valentina was recently awarded with an Honorary Masters Degree in Business Administration by the University of West London and is on the Advisory Board of BBC Worldwide Publications. She is currently working as consultant chef at Olive’s Café at the Lime Tree Nursery in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, re-vamping her beloved Risotto! Risotto! for its imminent republication, and managing the back stage logistics at the cookery theatres for this year’s Ideal Home Shows in London and Manchester.