As commercial photographer Gabriele Galimberti was preparing to leave for a trip around the world, his grandmother prepared for him his favorite ravioli, expressing concern about how well he would be fed on his global jaunt.
"My grandmother was mostly worried about the food that I was going to eat," remembered Galimberti. "She told me something like, 'Are you sure you want to go? What are you going to eat in Africa? And in China? You should stay at home. I can cook for you.'"
Galimberti reassured her, promising that he would seek out other grandmothers all over the world to feed him well. He stayed true to his word, persuading grandmas in 60 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, to cook her signature dish for him. The journey is captured in In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World (Clarkson Potter, Nov.)
Below, Galimberti has shared three photos from his culinary tour of the world, which provides a glimpse into the palates from places near and far.
Tineke Reijndorp, 64 years old, The Hague, Holland. Recipe: Goat Cheese Mousse with Strawberry Sauce
“There’s no bigger gift than your good food being enjoyed by your loved ones,” says Tineke, when I meet her at her home on a sunny but cold Saturday evening. She lives in a nice two-story house that is close to the center of The Hague with her husband, Guus. I spent almost the whole evening cooking with them and she gave me her secrets to making the best goat cheese mousse."
Gnep Tan, 73 years old, Bakong, Cambodia. Recipe: Lok Lak.
"Her house, or rather hut, is entirely made of intertwined pieces of wood and banana leaves. There are no windows or doors, no electricity or running water, but, despite all this, her house is perfectly tidy, and even under pouring rain not a drop gets inside. Gnep has spent all her seventy-three years in this tiny fishing village. I tried more than once to ask her the number of her children and grandchildren, but she never gave me a precise number. She always answered, “A lot.”
Fernanda de Guia, 71 years old, Manila, Philippines. Recipe: Sinigang, Tamarind Soup with Pork and Vegetables.
"Fernanda was born in Manila and has lived there all her life. She has three sons and five grandchildren, and she lives with her husband in a big house in the northern part of the city. All of her sons not only live in the neighborhood, they live on the same street. The house of the son who lives the farthest is no more than half a mile away. “I really love the fact that my sons and my grandchildren are nearby; I never have a moment of rest,” she says with a giggle. “They are always here: lunch, dinner, teatime. You could say I’m a full-time cook, but without a salary. Sometimes I’m tired of cooking so much, but in the end I think that having a family so close to me is the best thing I could ask for. They keep me happy all the time. I welcome all of them on a nice Sunday morning and we have a fantastic lunch together."
Excerpted from In Her Kitchen by Gabriele Galimberti. Text and photographs copyright © 2014 Gabriele Galimberti. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House company, New York. All rights reserved.
In Her Kitchen by Gabriele Galimberti. Clarkson Potter, Nov. ISBN 978-0-8041-8555-4