Monday, 24 February 2014

My Italian cooking holiday experience : interview with the author Alice Peterson

In today's post it is our pleasure and honour to interview Alice Peterson, the author of the ebook sensation, Monday to Friday Man, the book that whipped 50 Shades of Grey of Grey off the Number 1 Kindle Spot! Alice spoke with us about her most inspiring moments in Italy, her Flavours cooking holiday and the experience of travelling solo and meeting extraordinary people on holidays for singles. 

Your latest book ‘By My Side’ is a perfect holiday read but what we want to know is what inspires you to go on a holiday? Is Italy a travel inspiration for you?

I think it’s really important always to have something to look forward to. For me, a holiday is all about forgetting work and troubles at home; it’s a chance to get away from the routine, see another part of the world and meet different and new people. Sunshine is always a bonus too! I read History of Art at Bristol, so many years ago, when I was at university I travelled to Venice and Florence. I’m not a great traveller but of all the places I have been, Italy is top of my list. I love the art, the beautiful countryside and the delicious food. 

Why did you choose to go on a cooking holiday with Flavours? Was it the first time going on a cooking holiday? How different is it from an ordinary holiday?

I have always dreamt about going on a cooking holiday, mainly because I love my food and am incredibly greedy, so the Flavours holiday seemed ideal. Many years ago I went, alone, on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. It was such an experience, perhaps never to be repeated, but I shall always remember that week as I met so many extraordinary people. That’s why I decided to do something a bit different again. I love going on holiday with friends, but I also think going alone makes me far more open to meeting others. I felt nervous beforehand, anything new is daunting, but the moment I was greeted by Lorna, the Flavours host, I knew I was going to have a happy week. 

Describe in a few words your cooking holiday: when and where it was, what did you enjoy the most, any funny moments? 
I went to Puglia last October. The real bonus was that a Pilates group joined us too, so each morning started off with some stretching by the pool. I loved the villa. It is possibly one of the most beautiful places I have stayed. Every object told a story. Right outside my bedroom were lemon trees. Each morning I’d pad over to the kitchen and make myself a strong coffee, the house filled with opera music. I also loved our cook, Antonio. He was incredibly patient, especially when Victoria and I had a chocolate fight in the kitchen! We made the most delicious food, which we enjoyed eating for lunch. I also loved the way the wine was opened earlier and earlier in the day. Eating and drinking rose outside in the sunshine, followed by a sleep or a read by the pool, it was heaven for me. The other people who’d signed up for the holiday were all so friendly. By the end of the week we felt like a family and it was sad saying goodbye. 

Are you passionate about authentic Italian cuisine? What is your favourite dish and which of the recipes you learned in the cookery courses do you keep creating in your own kitchen?

I love Italian food. My favourite dish was the aubergine bake, which I have made again since returning home. It’s quite messy to do, but fun. I also love mozzarella and pasta, and have such a sweet tooth so the custard pie, chocolate cake and lemon mousse were a favourite. The Puglia lemons taste amazing, nothing like the lemons you pick up at the supermarket over here! It really was a lovely holiday, one I shall remember for a long time.

Biography – Alice Peterson
I became a writer in a fairly unconventional way. To my friends and family, I was always, ‘Alice, the tennis player’ and, at the age of 18 had been awarded a tennis scholarship to America. I was about to sign a contract when I experienced pain in my right hand. Three months later I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune condition for which there is no cure. I have never picked up a tennis racket since, a sadness that shall always be with me.  
I have discovered a new path in life, my writing. My first book, A Will to Win, was published by Macmillan, and subsequently five novels have been published in this country and abroad, including the ebook sensation, Monday to Friday Man, which knocked Fifty Shades of Grey off the number one spot. My latest novel, By My Side,  covers many themes including parenting, grieving, courage, romance and love. It also features one of my favourite characters, the most loyal golden
Labrador called Ticket. 
Things I love: my family, friends, coffee, writing – and finally last but not least, my handsome little man – my Lucas Terrier, Mr Darcy.
To find out more about Alice and her novels, please visit <>  


Randhir singh said...

Smartgroschen is for free chatting with video clips, pictures and your current position on the map. Calls to mobiles and landlines even without a sim card.

Mike said...

I absolutely loved reading about ur holiday!! Your experimental sense of style and the fact that u belong to my favorite city...makes me feel connected to you.
honeymoon in rome