Cucina di William was built on a family tradition of great food, even better company and the belief that food brings the entire family together.
My Grandfather grew up in a small house with 3 brothers and 2 sisters in the rural Italian region of Abruzzo. The family was raised on what food was available with most of the ingredients being grown at home. After World War II, he moved to England where he spent the next 25 years working on various farms throughout Cambridgeshire. With his upbringing and experience on the farm, my grandfather developed a love of growing his own vegetables with his garden being his pride and joy of the house.
My Grandmother was the main cook in our family. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, she was in the kitchen preparing meals for the entire family. There was no such thing as a small portion either, especially when I got older and came to visit. The words "I'm not very hungry" were simply ignored and the plate was piled high. It wasn't just one course either; pasta, meat, bread and oil, fruit and maybe a little ice cream for dessert. It was my Grandmother's passion for cooking that really started my love of cooking, watching her work and create dishes packed with so much flavour from so few and simple ingredients.
Abruzzo - My Grandfather's Region
Abruzzo is a very rural region of Italy with 60% of its area being dedicated to National Parks and green spaces. The landscape is incredibly diverse ranging from central Italy's largest mountain, the Gran Sasso, to the sweeping hills of the Pescara province and the untouched coastline overlooking the beautiful blue Adriatic sea. It is owing to the diverse and relatively untouched landscape that Abruzzo is home to some of the finest and freshest produce in all of Italy, from olive trees, particularly the Dritta variety, to the Pera d'Abruzzo plum tomato and the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine grape.
Fattoria di Tullio
Combining the love my Grandfather had for fresh, home grown vegetables, my Grandmother's passion for cooking and the amazing beauty of Abruzzo, I decided to create the Cucina di William brand to share this with you. In order to do so, I needed to find the perfect source for all of my products. In a village, called Loreto Aprutino, in the Pescara province of Abruzzo, is a small family run farm called Fattoria di Tullio. The family have been farming this land for generations.With Roberto di Tullio, the patriarch of the family, overseeing the crops, his daughter Manuela creating the product recipes and her husband Alessio dealing with the day to day running of the company, I knew this was the perfect source. With the family's pure passion for great produce I knew the visions of Cucina di William were in safe hands.
The entire production with the exception of pasta and olive oil is completed on the farm. Each product is handmade to a precise recipe to ensure maximum quality and taste. So when you open something as simple as a jar of passata, you're not just opening a jar of sieved tomatoes, you're opening a jar of sieved tomatoes that have been grown, picked and produced with care, attention and passion that only an artisanal production can offer. With the care and attention taken by the entire family at Fattoria di Tullio, I have been able to ensure that every single Cucina di William product sold is of the highest quality and represents an authentic taste of Italy.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the best examples of the Cucina di William beliefs.
The olive trees on the Fattoria di Tullio farm have been in the family for generations and each year are harvested by hand. The harvested olives are then given to a local frantoio (olive oil producer) who press the olives within 24 hours in order to ensure all of the natural flavour and organoleptic properties of the olives are preserved.
The harvest isn't just a means of production, it's a tradition that forms the very backbone of the local community in the village.
Pasta isn't just wheat and water. It is the beating heart of Italy and Cucina di William. After the wheat is carefully milled into durum wheat semolina, it is entrusted to a local family run, artisanal pastificio (pasta maker) who have been producing pasta for over 150 years. The pasta is made using bronze dies which gives it a roughness and texture that ensures full quality and taste when paired with any type of sauce. The pasta is then carefully air dried. The result is a pasta that is perfect in both taste an texture. It is the shared values and beliefs held by the pastificio that make them the perfect pasta producer for the wheat grown by Fattoria di Tullio and made into Cucina di William pasta.
Cucina di William
Along with Fattoria di Tullio, it is the aim of Cucina di William to carry on the family traditions, share the love of food and bring to you a true, authentic taste of Italy.
Explore our range of products by visiting the shop page today or stop by any of the market or event locations which can be found in the Community section.
You will also find recipes to download, shoutouts to other great businesses who share the same values as Cucina di William and a blog dedicated to all things Abruzzo.
Founder of Cucina di William
Pictured with Alessio (L) from Fattoria di Tullio at the 2018 Italian National Day Reception at the Italian Embassy in London.