I had the pleasure of meeting Emiko when we both happened to be holidaying in Hyams Beach over Christmas. Us Australians tend to gravitate towards even hotter places over the holidays, or in our case, the wettest place in Australia, unfortunately. Fate would have it that we met for coffee on one of the only painfully sublime days we got during the 11 nights there. Even though we were both dying to get to the beach, we tucked into the Hyams Beach cafe and chatted everything from her new cookbook to baby sleep schedules. If you’re thinking, “didn’t she just release her other book?” and you’d be right. She’s managed to release 2 books within about 12 months of each other. Simply amazing. We clicked instantly and Emiko is one of those people who seems so youthful, yet also very wise and mature. She probably has her expat life and travels to thank for that. We had one of those lovely conversations that you didn’t want to stop, and we continued chatting for about half an hour on the street before we both headed back for lunch.
Emiko has been in Australia since travelling around doing various events for her book launch, one being the beautiful picnic featured in this post, hosted by Lean Timms. With Lean’s events, you can always expect a well curated space that is bang on from florals to tableware. The first picnic I went to with Lean, a picnic I brought my plastic red cup to drink wine out of, because it’s a picnic, and I break things, so. She had gorgeous vintage tumblers, vases of flowers and not a gingham picnic blanket in site. That’s the kind of picnics Lean hosts, and this event was no different.
Guests were greeted with peach and pomegranate bellini’s, a DIY bruschetta station followed by shared plates of favourites from the book. Featured was octopus & potato braise, tomato & celery salad, insalata grossetana (mackerel, capers, olives) and wild asparagus and herb tart. Before dessert (plum and ricotta tarts), we were treated to divine cheese plates featuring caramelised figs and white grape jam (both recipes in the book).
I will let the photos do the talking, but before I sign off, after flicking through Acquacotta, I have decided it’s in my top 3 cookbooks ever. Aside from the home-style, simple and traditional recipes, there are pages of photos (many using film) and illustrations by Emiko’s hand. It gives a rare glimpse into the Tuscan Maremma region, also knows as the Silver Coast. An untouched area of Italy, I just have to visit. So, I guess I’m off to scour flights now.
Anisa – The Macadames. xx