In lovely news, the best news I've had in months... I was recently invited to participate in the World Pesto Championships, in Genova, Italy.
I will be the first-ever New Zealand representative and, one of 100 competitors from around the world, competing to make pesto ... the old-fashioned way.
Our task will be to prepare Genoese Pesto, using locally sourced, high-quality ingredients and yes, a traditional marble mortar and wooden pestle.
We will be judged by a jury composed of 30 experts ... restaurateurs, chefs and professional testers and they will then select 10 finalists in this year's search for a world pesto champion.
Am I nervous?
Mmmm, a little but honestly, the sheer joy I feel about returning to Genova is so much more and all nervousness disappears. I have been continuing with my daily life but fighting to contain that bubble of joy that wells up when I think, 'Genova! Soon!!'
The city, in that low-key yet always superb style I've come to associate with Genova, is opening its doors and you can read about other events here.
There will be news from me. There will be blog posts. There will be photographs too ... perhaps an avalanche either while I am there or in the days afterwards. Although I find myself returning to my massive photo library titled GENOVA, again and again and may blog during these days before flying.
I'm there, in 6-days and really, I can't wait!!
The image above, those are the hands of Roberto Panizza, the king of this pesto kingdom ... demonstrating his skills for one of my photography workshop groups. He's the loveliest man, that pesto man. It will be good to see him again!
Ciao from the Kiwi, so absolutely ready to represent New Zealand in Italy.