Silvia Nacamulli is a master in the art of traditional Italian Jewish home-cuisine. London-based, born and bred in Rome, Silvia had the privilege of observing three generations of fine Italian Jewish cooks, surrounded by Italy’s culture and love of food. Silvia set up her business, Cooking for the Soul, in 2002 and has established herself as a much-loved professional cook, lecturer, and food writer. She is a well-recognised name on the international food circuit, having written more than 200 recipes for The Jewish Chronicle, contributed to recipe books and featured in numerous publications, from Elle A Tavola, Tablet magazine, The Nosher, The Forward, and Shalom among others. Silvia has given hundreds of cookery demonstrations and lectures at cookery schools, universities, charities, synagogues, fairs and festivals in the UK, USA, Italy, Germany and Israel and she is in the advisory board of FOODISH, the culinary wing of ANU - the Museum of the Jewish People. Her first book, Jewish Flavours of Italy: A Family Cookbook is out now.
She lives in North West London with her husband and twin daughters.
I came to cookery in a rather unconventional way, after studies and travels that could easily have taken me in a quite different direction. I grew up in Rome, into a large, warm and loud Italian Jewish family, surrounded by fabulous unpretentious food. After school and a year in the USA I went to Israel, where I obtained a BA in Political Science from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I then moved to London to study an MSc in Politics of the World Economy at the LSE (London School of Economics) and worked in business development in the internet world for a few years. But my roots and passion eventually took over and motivated me to change career and branch out on my own, doing what I love: cooking.
I started by teaching Italian Jewish cuisine, giving cookery demonstrations and hands-on classes, privately and at cookery schools, synagogues and charities. The catering and food-delivery side of my business started organically over the years and is now an integral part of what I do. Then there is the writing, which became a natural offshoot, writing recipes for magazines, websites and books, and eventually writing my own cookery book – finally!
My cooking is Italian at its core, and Italian Jewish in tradition, following kosher rules throughout. However, having travelled extensively and lived for over 20 years in the wonderful international food scene that is London, my food also evolved, and I widened my culinary horizons and palate. I therefore also cook and offer Mediterranean, Middle Eastern as well as some Asian cuisine – which I absolutely adore – all with my underlying personal and Italian philosophy of keeping flavours clean, simple and essential, with a style that remains home-cooking in its essence.
With all this rich heritage, I’m proud to say I’m a cook rather than a chef. Although I have been involved with food forever, have taken a few culinary courses and worked professionally in the food industry for over 20 years now, what I do is largely self-taught and it allows me to maintain a sense of authenticity and a home-cooking style which is what my clients seem to appreciate. Quality of ingredients, tradition and passion are what drive me, along with the pure joy of feeding people.
I hope you will enjoy the flavours I have to offer. Welcome to my culinary world.