I first learned about the effort required and the rewards enjoyed by a true food lover as a child. Unlike my peers, who happily spent their holidays buried in sand on the beach or leaping in and out of rock pools, my parents' idea of a good family holiday was quite different. Instead they chose to drive through rural Italy in their Citroën DS and see how much food and wine they could squeeze into the boot before finally driving home. Looking back, I can see that this was in itself a privilege - how many other people can claim to have experienced freshly pressed olive oil? Or to have seen what places like Venice and Florence were like in the 70's But at the time the only thing that made these trips bearable were the frequent stops at trattorie and panetterie... I guess it would be fair to say that my parents' enthusiasm for good food and wine didn't so much 'rub off' but rather 'stuck' with me.