maandag 1 maart 2010


Friends of mine, Patricia Hessing, Ifke Brunings and Jasper Westebring, from design company Ateliers Hessing & Brunings, designed the perfect line of furniture for children. They teamed up with Eugenia Clavero, a Spanish product designer.
I love all the designs Ateliers make, because they are stylish, aestethic but also friendly at the same time. As you can see in this rocking chair. It is my favourite piece in their collection. I'm so lucky that my twin baby-girls got them as a present. (and I love little hero Enza! I hope my girls will be as brave and spunky as she is). check for more work at

La Cucina d'Abruzzo

Another neighbour, and best friend of Gemma's, is Paula. She lives with her mother Clara and the rest of her family across from Gemma's. After the harvest of the tomatoes, in august and september, they make tomato sauce. They make a big wood fire under a big steel drum filled with, early in the morning before it gets too hot outside. Then they peel the tomatoes and use a special machine to make it into sauce. They pour the sauce in clean beer bottles, put a cap on in and cook the bottles in the steel drum to sterilse them. The have enough sauce to last them a whole year untill the next harverst, plus some for friends and family. I took some pictures while Giancarlo was helping them, and Mark Niedermann was taking pictures of the process for the book.

La Cucina d'Abruzzo

The hills and mountains in Abruzzo are empty, and silent, and very very big. Especially when there's some fog, it can feel a bit spooky. But still beautiful.

La Cucina d'Abruzzo

Here's some pictures that I took at Gemma's neighbours in her home-village Vallemare. They grow vegetables and herbs that they sell twice a week at the market.

La Cucina d'Abruzzo

La Cucina d'Abruzzo
La Cucina d'Abruzzo
Acciavatti, G. & Mirabilio, G.

Today we stay in Italy a little more, because I want to tell about another book I recently finished: La Cucina d'Abruzzo. It is a book about Gemma Mirabilio & Giancarlo Acciavatti, who run a succesfull catering company Mondo Mediterraneo ( It is around the corner from where I live. Lucky me!

They make beautiful and delicious food, but they are also very warm and lovely people. I asked them two years ago if they would like to make a cook book with me, and that is when our adventure together started.

They took me to their home region, Abruzzo, a part of Italy full of contrasts. Totally different from the Italy that I know from my trips to Tuscany and Milan. The mountains are rough and authentic, with little villages remote from everywhere. It is as if time stood still. But the coast is very lively and stylish, with exclusive beach bars and shops, especially Pescara.

These contrasts you can also find in Gemma, who is from a small farm in a village in the hills, and Giancarlo, who is from Pescara. And you can find these contrasts in the food they prepare. Some recipes are old, authenic family recipes, others are recipes that are inspired by their travels around the world.

My plan first was, besides making the whole concept of the book, doing the styling and making the illustrations, to also write all these stories down. But during the process of the book, I was also preparing something else: two lovely babies! So my very talented friend Jocelyn de Kwant took over the writing of the stories. Plus she finished the production of the book (bravo). Sanne Dirkzwager designed the book. Most of the images are by Swiss photographer Mark Niedermann (, but some of them are mine. I will show some more of my images in a later post.

Alberto de Michele

Yesterday I went to a preview of a new art work by Alberto de Michele. He's an artist who lives in Amsterdamm but grew up with his Italian father. His recent works focus on the world around his father, who is, as Alberto states is on his website: surrounded by thieves, gangsters and gambling addicts.

In the image you see a still of his last movie, that gives a close look of the world of I Lupe. These robbers live in the north of Italy and only work during the fog season. They know the area by heart so they can easily disappear in the fog. The story in the movie is told by Alberto's father. The movie is thrilling, but also moving, because it makes you realise in what world Alberto grew up in. check for more work on