A casual visit discussing Italy, Food, Culture & Humanity with Fred Plotkin

In this show you will meet Fred Plotkin, author of 9 books who has written for dozens of leading publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Opera News, Gourmet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, Gastronomica, and magazines around the world.  The New York Times calls Fred “expert on everything Italy.”  Fred also hosts a YoTube show titled,  Fred Plotkin on Fridays.  

Show Notes:

  • The early years in Italy and how he came to write Italy for the Gourmet Traveler.
    • What Bologna taught him about cooking and ingredients.
    • Why the Bologna markets are the best
    • Early introduction to Italian cooking came while visit friend’s homes for the weekend, where he spent much of his time in the kitchen, watching and learning. 
  • Writing & Publishing
    • His favorite region and why he wrote the cookbook about Liguria
    • The importance to “discover the way Italians eat not to be catered to as a tourist”
    • Regions of Italy as expressed through pasta.
  • Plotkin’s viewpoints about what makes a place, genuine, authentic, and appealing.
  • When some publications tout “this is the best…(fill in the blank)” why to trust Plotkin who prefers to say… “it’s the best I have ever tasted.”
  • Pandemic of 2020 —Italy for the Gourmet Traveler, latest addition is 2014 and is a good reference for Italian culture and history.   The newest addition, in progress, is on pause until Plotkin knows what restaurants are still standing and more about how the hygiene practices have changed.  
  • Magical moments define a trip.  Plotkin shares two small, but memorable moments.  
    • Train ride, sharing food and building a network of friendship throughout Italy
    • “Plotkin Nose” and Anzio women who teaches about garlic
    • Tiny details he learned from the ”Pasta Grannies”
    • Kindness of Italian people
  • Grinding food crisis. Plotkin says, “Food is linked not only to culture, health and nutrition, but also to economics and politics”
  • Definition of “Foodie” and why Plotkin is NOT one
  • What foods Plotkin doesn’t like?  His thoughts on raw, and fermented foods.
  • The science of food and nutrition and his cookbook for pregnant women.
  • Plotkin takes the challenge and designs a trip for a potential first time traveler. 
  • What Plotkin suggests for his visitors when they come to New York.
  • How Plotkin eats out here in America.
  • How Plotkin feeds the homeless.  Honoring food and supporting little independent food markets, and family restaurants.
  • How Fred Plotkin describe himself: 
    • Pleasure Activist
    • Egalitarian
    • Cavaliere
    • Believer in Passion and Conviction.


Fred Plotkin on Fridays https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQBGE7ytkX0&t=968s


Italy for the Gourmet Traveler:

Opera 101: https://www.amazon.com/Opera-101-Complete-Learning-Loving/dp/0786880252/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2XYANVD0OILDA&dchild=1&keywords=opera+101+a+complete+guide+to+learning+and+loving+opera&qid=1605562656&s=books&sprefix=Oper

Annie Collins is a true Travel Architect–passionate about custom-designing unique and seamless travel experiences.  If you would like to have a conversation with Annie about planning your next trip, head on over to freedomtravelllc.com to arrange a convenient time.

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