[Thoughts on the Table – 67] The Premise of Italian Cuisine, with Melinda King

Melinda King

When I started Thoughts on the Table, I never would have thought that it’d reach its 67th episode, that it would feature so many amazing guests, and that it would have allowed me to approach Italian food and food culture from so many different angles! This episode’s guest is Melinda King, an established writer and editor who has worked in the food industry and who has an extensive background in science and history. In our chat, Melinda introduces herself and then shares her view on what Italian food really is, with what I think of as one of the most insightful analysis I have ever encountered!

During the episode, Melinda mentions the book by Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari titled Italian Cuisine – A Cultural History, a wonderful read for anyone interested in understanding where modern Italian food comes from and in the premises of its very identity.

If you want to know more about Melinda, please check out her bio below. To get in touch with her, please leave a comment or contact her at setteveli21 AT gmail DOT com.

The music in the episode is by www.purple-planet.com.

Melinda “Mindy” King is a writer and editor finishing her graduate thesis at the Università degli Studi di Padova in Agricultural Sciences and Italian Food and Wine, currently living in the Veneto countryside tending vines, animals, and a cornfield. With ten years in publishing management, research, freelance writing and illustration (having ghostwritten over 320 books), she earned degrees in European History (emphasis Medieval and Renaissance Studies—science and medicine), Anthropology, and Environmental Sciences having studied at Chapman University, Universidad de Monterrey, The British Institute, and Università di Firenze. With a background in wine studies (Sommelier, distribution, sensory analysis, and retail) she now applies herself to land management and training techniques. A lifetime of restaurant management and cooking (Colombian-Spanish and Swedish chef-family of wine and paella fiends), she has an eye to quality and tracking, as well as a sense of humor. Meanwhile, she has been a teacher and translator having traveled and worked in over seventy countries. Born in Santa Ana, California, spending much of her childhood in Mexico, Mindy moved to Italy in college to study, and finally found her home. Melding history and science, her focus on viticulture and vinification emphasizes vini autoctoni d’Italia (native grapes). The importance of this topic, she believes, is in the manner the grapes are cared for, and the people who do the work. The theme of her life is “inviting people to share their stories,” and Italian grapes have much to say. Investigating vines in the Etna volcano region (specifically Nerello Mascalese) in Sicily, she is further inspired on the beautiful connections between time, tradition, and soil. Her obsession is Italian “terroir,” and the historical meaning behind what “tastes good.” She is grateful to have parents with deep curiosity and dynamic appetites. Science is the study of energy. Taste is the observation of culture. Italian food are these things, in perfect practice.

Paolo Rigiroli

Author: Paolo Rigiroli

Now based in the UK, Paolo is an Italian who lived in Canada for nearly 18 years and blogs about Italian food and its many aberrations.

11 thoughts on “[Thoughts on the Table – 67] The Premise of Italian Cuisine, with Melinda King”

  1. Wonderful interview with Mindy! As I was listening, I was thinking that it would be amazing to get all your podcast guests together to cook and eat an incredible meal (all the while talking about our next meal). We all share so much of the same beliefs. Thanks for the introduction to her and her work with wine, and I look forward to a guest post from her in the future!

    And for you, my friend, I wish you both the best in your transition. Un abbraccio forte, David

    1. Thanks, David! The super-lunch together would be a dream 🙂 As Mindy said to me in an email: the table of Thoughts on the Table is getting bigger and bigger! And thanks for your wishes as well, I’ll be in touch.

  2. Great interview, as I mentioned to Paolo offline. Fully agree with the sentiments expressed—they brought back fond memories! And yes, Montanari’s book is a “must” for anyone who’s interested in Italian cuisine!

  3. Paolo, you are leading a quiet but magnificent revolution! Thank you for all that you do…

    1. Melinda, you’re just too kind! Thanks for finding the time to work with me on this episode. It was great getting to know you – congrats again on an amazing career and best of luck with your future endeavors!

  4. Loved the cast as usual. Good luck in England. Going to miss the North American perspective!

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