We were able to sit down and chat with Maria Liberati, a recipe developer, about an upcoming recipe series that we’re bringing here shortly. But, before we dive into the recipes themselves, we want you to get to know Maria a bit better.
Maria was initially introduced into the Italian culture and culinary scene while she was modeling internationally in Italy. Maria never dreamed that she would go from being a fashion diva to a domestic diva, but the universe had other plans. While in Italy, Maria became passionate about the simplicity of life and food in the mountains of Abruzzo, Italy. This is also where her family’s vineyard is nestled. While tucked away in the mountains of Italy, she began taking cooking classes. Eventually, this led to cooking at various vineyards throughout Italy. Being versed in both English and Italian, vineyards sought Maria for her cooking skills and delicious, home-cooked meals.
Later during her time in Italy, Maria fell deeply in love with culinary arts and decided to attend an Italian cooking school. After school, she toured the country, cooking at various eateries and other locations in Italy. All the while, her modeling career kept her busy. Maria was asked by a famous Italian painter to have her portrait done. For this particular project, Maria was painted in norther Italy, at the artist’s family’s “compound.” It was a fascinating time for her, as that entire family was involved in making some of the finest Parmigiano Reggiano. This experience only increased Maria’s interest in the beauty and humility of Italian cooking. Over time, as modeling faded out of the picture, cook book writing and recipe creation became even more prevalent in her life.
We asked Maria about the inspiration behind creating recipes for Wild for Salmon. Simply put, she explained that she wanted to use recipes that were not intimidating but would spotlight salmon in the art of Italian cooking. Therefore, some of the recipes are tried and true – and steeped in generations of Italian cuisine – and others are new. Regardless, they are all full of flavor and zest. Ultimately, her recipes are made from simple ingredients to showcase the beauty of uncomplicated cooking.
As we dive into the recipes throughout the next few months, stay tuned for plenty of story-telling. For example, starting with the crepe, a simple yet go-to for spring and summer brunches. The crepe is commonly known for its French descent yet it’s known as a crespelle in Italy and has been an ancestral part of Italian culture. For example, manicotti was traditionally made with crepes in Italy. But, by adding salmon to the filling, it takes this crespelle to the next level.
Without a doubt, pasta is staple in Italian cooking. Historically, it was most heavily incorporated in the south of Italy. Now, Italians from across the country enjoy this historical dish. When Maria was testing out recipes, this one felt like a natural. From pulling in a staple from the country – pasta – to an authentic Italian liquor that pairs nicely with salmon, we landed on pasta with a delicious limoncello sauce.
Finally, the salmon strudel. Traditionally coming from the northern region of Italy, the Tyrol region, the strudel was influenced from the Austrians, back when Austria ruled the northern part of Italy. Strudels have become very popular in the Italian culture and is a unique recipe. For those who enjoy salmon and want a taste of northern Italian culture, a strudel is just the dish. Making a strudel and taking it for lunch, a picnic, or even an outdoor event is ideal – not to mention, they’re great for entertaining.
Ultimately, Maria focused on creating delicious recipes that married with our wild-caught, Alaskan Sockeye salmon. We hope that you enjoy this series of cooking videos, but more importantly, we hope you are able to re-create Maria’s recipes alongside your family and loved ones.