Known as the god­fa­ther of Ital­ian gas­tron­omy, the cook and restau­ra­teur has been cham­pi­oning food and for­ag­ing for more than 50 years. Born in Vi­etri sul Mare, Italy, in 1937, An­to­nio moved to Lon­don in 1975, when he be­gan trad­ing in Ital­ian wines and lea

Veg­eta­bles,

Country Life Every Week - - A Few Of My Favourite Things - Il­lus­tra­tions by Chris­tian David Moore

I col­lect var­i­ous old or an­tique kitchen gadgets and I par­tic­u­larly like this Spong’s bean slicer—an ob­vi­ous at­tempt to mod­ernise kitchen equip­ment. I ap­pre­ci­ate the touch of his­tory and how these tools show the evo­lu­tion of the kitchen sce­nario. I have them on dis­play at home

My mush­room di­ary, which I be­gan in 1991, con­tains de­tails of my mem­o­rable wild-mush­room pick­ing days and the peo­ple who took part. I was about five when I first went for­ag­ing for them and used to go out with my par­ents or friends and their par­ents. In Italy, it’s a so­cial oc­ca­sion that all fam­i­lies take part in and it’s from this that my love of mush­rooms and for­ag­ing stemmed

I started wood whit­tling when I was a child, carv­ing my ini­tials into sticks. Later, I dis­cov­ered that carv­ing more from the bark pro­duced lovely, dif­fer­ent de­signs. I have a col­lec­tion of sticks that I’ve whit­tled my­self and I give some away for char­ity or as gifts. It’s a won­der­ful pas­time that I never tire of and I’m a very proud mem­ber of the Bri­tish Stick­mak­ers Guild (www.thebsg.org.uk)

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