"The Italian landscape is all about food and history. Both are well-known, and immediately visible as you drive through Italy’s famous gastronomic regions: Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria. ‘Slow Food’ has become a truer reflection of this landscape, and the people who have always lived there. The Slow Food movement - the political and environmental connection between plate and planet, the protection of the heritage of good food and its products, in short, eco-gastronomy that goes beyond mere organic concerns - began in Italy 21 years ago, and is now a growing worldwide movement.
Two of its happier proponents are David and Jenny Nichols, an American film producer and his English wife, who live in Rome and Umbria. Jenny Nichols is a renowned private chef; she has cooked for titans of industry, and European royalty. For the past twenty years the Nichols have been slowly renovating their farmhouse in Umbria, where they produce their own wine and olive oil, grow much of their own organic food, and where Jenny now gives week-long cooking classes to paying house guests.
“It’s not so much about food and cooking, as a philosophy about living and one’s relationship to the place one lives in,” Jenny says.
The Nichols’ farmhouse eloquently expresses this philosophy: guests stay in rooms that are as perfectly prepared and in harmony with the surrounding landscape as Jenny’s meals. Here they learn something about this food, shop for it, make it, and then eat it, while also seeing something of this unspoiled part of the country."
Boston Globe Travel Section March 2007