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Written on: Monday January 26th, 2009

A journal entry from: CCI Italy

Well, here it is I am currently sitting in the airport spending mylast few hours in Italy, of course as always time here has gone by incredible fast and yet at the same time it seems like a lifetime since I was in Hartford. Without a doubt this trip has been one of the hardest challenges I have experienced, this had nothing to do with the restaurant or the people I encountered along the way but being away from my wife, family, friends and at times civilization proved to be incredibly trying. 

That said, if I did this 3 years ago I wouldn't be leaving, at least not Italy anyway, I would be jumping from city to city soaking up all that Italy has to offer, it's a beautiful country with a fantastic and addictive way of life. But times are different and I have even more beautiful wife that I just wouldn't be able to part with again, at least not for such along period of time. 

So what have I left with? Besides the extra 12 pounds and cooking aside, the sheer why of life here is immensely different and one I think is important to experience and absorb in order to truly understand Italian food, as it is with any style of food. Italian food is about tradition and simplicity these are two characteristics that you just cannot read in a book or take photos of for illustration. And as for the cooking, of course I have taken away many recipes a thousand ideas and a completely new outlook on cooking Italian food.

On another note, I have also been a witness to the terrifying state of the world's economy and its empowering strain on the restaurant business. People only come to Saint Vincent for two reasons, to Ski or to go to the Casino, both require money and people to freely depart with it. These bad economical times are punishing small towns and businesses. Because of this I learnt the true value of food and food wastage, and I depart with a better idea on how to control it. I think that alone is worth my time here.

I am taking a short trip to The Netherlands before heading back to England to once again see friends and family and then finally I will be returning back to Connecticut, and back to "La Tavola" who's continues success and award winning is going to be hard to get back up to speed with, but I can't wait, bring on the chaos.

To all those considering/preparing for/departing for Italy, I hope this has some how answered any questions you had or covered any fears you had, my offer still stands for any questions I may be able to answer, to be sent to jongyles@gmail.com thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

So I will finish by writing some much needed thanks. Chef Jack: for preparing us, and always being there for support and advice. All those in the CCI administration for all your help before, during and I have no doubt after this journey. Of course my family for your ongoing support and guidance, I'm sure I will never be able to fully repay you all but I can but try. Lastly to Sara for an amazing amount of patience throughout the whole thing, who found this equally as hard, I can only hope that she hasn't grown accustom to her bachelorette lifestyle and will let me back in the house.

Look forward to seeing you all soon, Ciao.


From Susan on Sep 9th, 2012

We like your adventure, if interested check out our current contract. If may be of interest to you. http://www.WorkForBackpackers.com Apply if interested. Please include BLOGGER in the future travel area. Thanks, Susan HR

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