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Sicilian Flavors



Sicilian Flavors

Traditional Farming and Eating in a Modern World

A Conversation with Fabrizia Lanza and Ann Yonkers


On the occasion of the Second Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, join us for a conversation with Fabrizia Lanza, food scholar and owner of the acclaimed Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School (Regaleali, Sicily) and Ann Yonkers, food pioneer and co-founder of FRESHFARM Markets, the largest network of producer-only farmers markets in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As we explore Sicily’s regional cuisines, the correlation among agriculture, tradition and cooking will allow us to compare different farming models and how they relate to society, from the Mediterranean region to the United States.

Food expert and anchor at The Washington Post, Mary Beth Albright, will be leading the conversation discussing the role of farming in the modern world, the importance of organic products and how holding on to traditions defines our eating habits, lifestyle, and becomes a mean to preserve not only gastronomic heritage but also cultural diversity.

A screening of Amuri: Sacred Flavors of Sicily, a documentary about slow food traditions and typical dishes prepared during religious festivities in Sicily, will follow together with a Sicilian wine tasting kindly sponsored by Tasca D’Almerita.


Embassy of Italy 
3000 Whitehaven Street NW 
Washington, DC 20008 





Mary Beth Albright is the Food Anchor at The Washington Post. She is a food expert with broad experience, from National Geographic writer to finalist on Food Network Star, where she competed on Iron Chef America. She is a trusted, grounded voice in the Washington, D.C. food world and a "well rounded food person," according to the James Beard Foundation. After competing for four months on Food Network Star, Chef Bobby Flay commented that Mary Beth "speaks so well about food, she makes us fall in love with food even more." She is a frequent panel moderator--including for the U.S. State Department and the Smithsonian--on topics as wide-ranging as culinary diplomacy, whether there is a science to restaurant criticism, and food films. Mary Beth's food-judging expertise is sought regularly, including the time she ate 2,000 foods in three days to judge the Outstanding New Products Awards. Outside of the food world, her service includes co-chairing the National Cathedral Elementary School Scholarship Fund's 40th anniversary, raising almost $1 million. Mary Beth has served on multiple boards, including the WSA, which provides grants to not-for-profit organizations in Washington, DC, where she has resided for 25 years. Mary Beth is an elected member of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an esteemed group of women in the culinary professions, which counts Julia Child among its alumnae. Her passion for real, good food grew from her mentor, the legendary Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. After 15 years of working with Dr. Koop on health and food issues, and attending Georgetown Law School (graduating cum laude), Mary Beth worked with subsequent Surgeons General and companies, advising on food systems and managing a White House initiative. Mary Beth also worked at the DC firm of Williams & Connolly and was Morton Kondracke's research assistant at Roll Call, the oldest Capitol Hill newspaper. As an undergraduate, she attended The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She completed L'Academie de Cuisine's two-semester culinary basics course in Bethesda, Maryland. Mary Beth lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Craig and nine-year-old son Truman, who wants to know if you want to talk about baseball.



Fabrizia Lanza was born in Palermo in 1961 to the renowned Tasca family, the daughter of cooking school founder Anna Tasca Lanza. The family's 200-year-old agricultural estate and Tasca d'Almerita winery instilled a love of farm-to-table production in Fabrizia from an early age. At the age of 18, she flew north to France and northern Italy to study and experience other worlds. With a degree in Art History, she worked in museums for 25 years, ultimately curating two museums in Feltre, a town 100 kilometres north of Venice. Anna had established the cooking school in 1989, but it wasn't until 2006 that Fabrizia returned to Sicily to join her mother's venture and reconnect with the Sicilian food and environment. Though Anna passed away in 2010, Fabrizia continues to build on her mother's strong legacy and international presence. She travels regularly to the United States, sharing her cuisine in restaurants ranging from Alice Waters' in California to Mario Batali's in New York City. She also lectures on food culture at various academic programs, including the Masters in Gastronomy course at Boston University, the Istanbul Culinary Institute, and the Oxford Food Symposium. Anna’s numerous books on Sicilian cuisine (including The Heart of Sicily and The Flavours of Sicily) have been joined by Fabrizia’s Olive, A Global History, published in 2011, as well as Coming Home to Sicily, co-authored in 2012 by former Gourmet magazine editor Kate Winslow. Fabrizia also promotes Sicilian food practices and slow food traditions through video documentation. She independently produced two small videos on food cooked for the feast of Saint Joseph and Saint Lucia and is currently working with two friends and botanical anthropologists to build a video archive on food techniques in danger of extinction, such as the practices of elderly cooks who still knot, fry and knead their dough. This research was the platform for Amuri: The Sacred Flavors of Sicily, a 37-minute Kickstarter-funded documentary written by Fabrizia in 2014 in collaboration with Giacomo Costa, Lena Connor and Chiara Pelizzoni. Under Fabrizia’s direction, the School’s teaching program will be extended in 2016 with the launch of Cook the Farm, a 10-week program for international chefs to learn about culinary and horticultural production in Sicily and the wider Mediterranean.



Ann became a leader in the sustainable food movement by way of her work as a chef, cooking school teacher, market grower, entrepreneur and environmentalist. She and her husband own Pot Pie Farm on the Chesapeake Bay, a founding farm in the St Michaels FRESHFARM Market. Ann taught cooking classes for 15 years, developed and led a pioneering curriculum cooking program in the DC public schools, and collaborated on two major cookbooks, one with Nora Pouillon and the other with Anna Tasca Lanza.  She served as the president of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, an international organization of women leaders in the culinary fields.  She co founded and served as co-Executive Director of FRESHFARM Markets from 1997-2015.  She has been profiled in Cooking Light, Natural Home, the Washington Business Journal, Chesapeake Living and Edible DC. Among her many honors in recognition of her leadership at FRESHFARM Markets, Washingtonian Magazine named Ann as one of its “Green Giants” and later  “one of the city’s 100 most powerful women,” and WETA honored her as a “Hometown Hero.” In 2012, DC Mayor Vincent Gray presented her with the “Mayor’s Sustainability Award,” and in 2014, the Downtown Business Improvement District of DC named her as the “Downtown Person of the Year.”  In 2016, the College of William and Mary recognized Ann with its highest and most prestigious award, the Alumni Medallion.

Ann is now a full time local of Maryland’s Eastern Shore where she and her husband, Charlie, live at Pot Pie, a waterfront farm down the road from the town of St Michaels. They recently scaled back their farming operations to one large fenced garden.  They love welcoming their children and their grandchildren to share this special place.



Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : Embassy of Italy, IIC Washington

Entrance : Free - Reservation May Be Required


Embassy of Italy