Valentina Quaranta’s philosophy of food is evident in her blog’s recipe for chickpea soup with nori: at once seemingly Italian, the addition of the edible seaweed--usually used in sushi--shows her experimental flair, her curiosity for international foods.
The Sicilian native started her blog, F40D (a play on her last name, “forty” in Italian), in November 2014 and it paid off: in 2017, she took home the Kachen audience blog award.
She gets a lot of her inspiration from going out to restaurants, whether it’s for Japanese or Thai, or her regular favourites, like Bosso or Notaro, among others. “I also enjoy cooking at home and inviting friends over for food and wine,” she says.
In her spare time, she helps out at a catering company, Fabelicious, launched by Fabrizio Annicchiarico. She met Fabrizio two years ago during a blog interview. “Working with him has allowed me to expand my culinary creativity and showed me new ways of engaging with the public.”
Whether dining out or in, being served or serving up dishes, she keeps her mind open to new creations and cooking styles. It’s why you’ll find anything from Indian split pea soup to lactose-free recipes on her blog. But she also shares more traditional recipes, like her warm Sicilian salad or stuffed eggplant dishes.
“I firmly believe that knowing, understanding and respecting what you eat allows you to know where you come from and who you are.”