Meet The FoodTriber: Valentina Testa

Let's ask Valentina some questions...

Welcome to the second Meet The FoodTriber interview.

If you have no idea of what I'm talking about, let me briefly explain. This is a series of interviews to help everyone get to know the faces behind FoodTribe a bit better. Thanks to everyone who has already volunteered to be interviewed over the next few weeks.

My first "guest" was Hayley Stanway. You can find her interview here:

Today I'm going to ask Valentina Testa some questions. Surely you've already seen her around, and read some of her great recipes.

Valentina is Italian and she has some strong opinions about Italian food and tradition, so don't try and tell her that pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping. Jokes aside, she always makes funny and interesting content – so follow her to make sure you don't miss any of her posts.

Where are you from?

I’m from Milan in Italy.

What do you do?

I’m a writer and content creator.

How did you discover FoodTribe?

I love Clarkson, Hammond and May, and I knew DriveTribe, but I didn't feel like writing about cars. When FoodTribe was founded it seemed wonderful to me, and I thought "Why not?"

What are your hobbies?

Oh well… I enjoy doing many things, but I am rubbish at some of them. I read a lot, write, draw, I like analogue photography, I love walking in the mountains, and I love Harry Potter. Recently I started painting with watercolours and carving magic wands. It all looks beautiful, but I repeat: I am rubbish at some things.

What's your favourite Italian dish?

Pizza (without pineapple) and lasagne.

What's your favourite cocktail?

I haven't had a cocktail for years, but I love cocktails with Martini in.

Beer or wine?

Beer is the beverage of the gods.

Savoury snacks or sweets?

Hmmm, depends. I am quite fickle in this regard.

Tell us a food-related childhood memory.

My grandmother's risotto. I talked about it in a post; you could taste the love it was made with. I really miss it.

What's the dish you cook the best?

The original Ragù alla Bolognese… I'd love to give Richard Hammond a taste of this!

Tell us about a food failure.

I've posted a couple of them! The worst was definitely the miso soup. I didn't believe that something apparently so simple could come out so stinking and terrible. I don't know what I did wrong, but it was rubbish!

What's your favourite comfort food?

Pastina in brodo (pastina in broth in English). It's the best comfort food in the world!

Do you have any pets?

Oh yes, I have my little Charlotte. She is a half-blood pinscher and very greedy. The vet has put her on a diet.

Speaking of pets...

...There's a new Tribe dedicated to pets. So, if you have a pet (or just love them), join the Tribe and share your pictures and stories.

Do you like listening to music while cooking? If yes, what kind of music?

Usually I cook with my laptop close by and watch an undemanding TV series.

Do you have a favourite cooking show?

Oh, no. I don't like talent shows, reality shows or entertainment TV programmes in general. I love the old Top Gear and The Grand Tour (well, technically this is on Amazon, not on TV), but the list ends here. I prefer TV series, anime and movies.

Who's your favourite chef?

See, I'm not a lover of fine dining. You might say that my favourite chefs are the 150-year-old Italian grannies who still cook in the restaurants of central and southern Italy.

What's the craziest thing you have done because of food?

Oh, I don't know. Leaving boys waiting at the disco to eat pizza in an all-night pizzeria? Is that crazy?

What's your favourite pizza topping?

Difficult question. Hot salami? Porcini mushrooms? Eggplant and Parmigiano Reggiano? There are too many good ones.

Tell us something food-related that you can't stand.

There is a list of things I can't stand: entrails, blood, cow's tail, fat... And then I don't eat rabbit, lamb or piglet. My limits are tied to red meat, in a nutshell.

What do you think of FoodTribe?

I signed up for FoodTribe because of my love of James May – and I stayed because I found a welcoming place and friendly and fun people. I really like being part of all this.

Thanks to Valentina for answering my questions.

If you want to ask her something else, leave a comment below.

Do you want to be my next interviewee? Tell me in the comments...

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