Monday, February 18, 2008

Maria Liberati aka M1 Dreamscape Transcript

[12:15] Cybergrrl Oh: OK, let's get started - what did I jump into - were you all introducing yourselves to Maria?
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: Everyone, Maria's web site is:
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: And if you click on the posters of her, you'll go to Amazon to her book page for more info or to buy it.
[12:16] Cybergrrl Oh: I'm Cybergrrl Oh and the host of Athena Isle
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: I bring authors and experts into SL on a weekly basis to create these interactive roundtable events
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: This is a text only chat
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: Sometimes we will have voice ones too
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: My one RULE:
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: Please type QUESTION: in front of your question so Maria and I can see it.
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: But feel free to comment anytime you'd like.
[12:17] Cybergrrl Oh: This is a rare chance to talk 1 on 1 with authors
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: So Maria, please start by telling us a little about your book!
[12:18] M1 Dreamscape: it is a recipe novel
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: That is what I find interesting.
[12:18] M1 Dreamscape: not just recipes but stories that are connected with them
[12:18] Cybergrrl Oh: Would you say like "Like Water for Chocolate?"
[12:19] M1 Dreamscape: stories of my life in Italy and stories that relate to the recipes
[12:19] M1 Dreamscape: yes similar to that.
[12:19] M1 Dreamscape: food has a lot of meaning and is connected to so many things
[12:20] M1 Dreamscape: I could not just write a book with recipes, food has so much more meaning than that.
[12:20] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: So your book is much more than a cookbook but it has aspects of a cookbook?
[12:20] M1 Dreamscape: yes, you can certainly cook with it
[12:21] M1 Dreamscape: but you can also read it on the plane or on vacation
[12:21] JadeBlue Barzane: that's a great idea, to put stories and recipes together!
[12:21] M1 Dreamscape: 'it also has info on places in Italy
[12:21] Maxie Mostel: QUESTION: Is it a bit like a biography?
[12:21] M1 Dreamscape: a lot of the places I write about are little out of the way towns and not places that are typically touristy
[12:22] M1 Dreamscape: sort of a biography
[12:22] M1 Dreamscape: but it is not my life story
[12:22] M1 Dreamscape: I just happened to be in the stories because I lived them but as they relate to the recipes
[12:22] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: So which came first - the stories or the recipes...?
[12:23] M1 Dreamscape: Food plays such an important part in everyday life in Italy and is related to style love, romance, daily life
[12:23] Maxie Mostel: QUESTION: a history of the recipes?
[12:23] Callaghan Munro: QUESTION: how much is present styles of cooking in Italy based on its history: i.e the renaissance?
[12:23] Cybergrrl Oh: Everyone - If Maria or I miss your question, don't be shy about asking again if needed...
[12:23] M1 Dreamscape: a lot of the food in Italy is based on so many things
[12:24] M1 Dreamscape: most of the food there has a history which makes it so interesting
[12:24] M1 Dreamscape: the things that are typically eaten in italy are related to the ancient Roman and Etruscans
[12:24] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: How much research did you have to do for the book - about the history, the recipes, etc.?
[12:25] M1 Dreamscape: so things like Arugula which has a wonderful nutty flavor but is not eaten so much in the states
[12:25] Cybergrrl Oh: I love arugula - I find it to be spicy!
[12:25] JadeBlue Barzane: arugula now grows almost wild in my garden!
[12:26] Cybergrrl Oh: I grew some arugula in my garden here in Alaska.
[12:26] Almo Schumann shudders involuntarily at mention of Alaska.
[12:26] M1 Dreamscape: is eaten a lot in Italy and is linked to the ancient romans who used to eat it as an aphrodisiac and for health
[12:26] Leandro Moskalev: oh, arugula is very popular here in brazil
[12:26] M1 Dreamscape: that is great that you could grow that outdoors in Alaska. I did not think it could grow in colder weather
[12:26] Maxie Mostel: QUESTION: Do you Italian cooking open to other culinary influences to become "new Italian"?
[12:26] M1 Dreamscape: yes, most of the original way of real Italian cooking is definitely lost in the US
[12:27] M1 Dreamscape: But is also getting further and further away than what is being done there
[12:27] Maxie Mostel: What about in Italy?
[12:27] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: New Italian - what is that exactly?
[12:27] M1 Dreamscape: it is becoming a nouveau Italian
[12:27] Callaghan Munro: QUESTION was renaissance cookery very different from todays in Italy?
[12:28] M1 Dreamscape: Yes somewhat because they did not have things like tomatoes, pasta, and some other Italian staples
[12:28] M1 Dreamscape: but there is a movement that started in Italy called Slow FOod
[12:28] M1 Dreamscape: It is now international
[12:28] M1 Dreamscape: and it is bringing back the principles of eating slowly and using locally grown foods
[12:28] Cybergrrl Oh: Slow food - is that crock-pot cooking? lol
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: If so, that is more my speed.
[12:29] Keykey Underwood: I've read about it in several magazines
[12:29] JadeBlue Barzane: Slow Food is a fascinating group. I read one issue of its journal. interesting!
[12:29] Maxie Mostel: lol
[12:29] M1 Dreamscape: Sort of
[12:29] Maxie Mostel: We have a chapter in Vancouver
[12:29] M1 Dreamscape: slow food is really interesting and now there are restaurants that are certified slow food restaurants
[12:29] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION - Can you give us a short example of a story and a corresponding recipe - not the whole thing, just the context.
[12:29] Keykey Underwood: Who certifies them? Is there an official organization?
[12:30] M1 Dreamscape: 'there is an interesting little town in the mountains of Abruzzo called tagliacozzo, it is all medieval look

[12:30] M1 Dreamscape: and there is a little convent there and the nuns make their own pastries to support the convent
[12:31] M1 Dreamscape: as mundane as that may seem
[12:31] Laser Plasma: thanks
[12:31] M1 Dreamscape: in order to buy the pastries they make you have to know how to get to the convent and ring the old church bell on the front door
[12:31] Keykey Underwood: I want to go there
[12:32] M1 Dreamscape: they are not allowed to see you because they are cloistered from the world. So it is sort of a Sienfeld thing like the soup nazi
[12:32] Cybergrrl Oh: How cool!
[12:32] Callaghan Munro: I was amused to read that in Italy today, the parsnips considered to be an exotic used to be a staple I believe
[12:32] M1 Dreamscape: you have to know the procedure to buy these cakes and it is very old world.
[12:32] Cybergrrl Oh: interesting
[12:32] M1 Dreamscape: and there is a recipe for making something from this town included in the chapter
[12:33] M1 Dreamscape: parsnips are considered exotic, they are hard to find there
[12:33] aurel Miles: I should move there
[12:33] aurel Miles: parsnips are one of the few things i find truly unpalatable
[12:33] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: Since almost everyone here is a writer, here is a writing question. What were your challenges writing a recipe/food novel? And how challenging is it now to "sell" it, that is, to explain the concept so people know it is not a straight novel and not a straight cookbook?
[12:33] M1 Dreamscape: If you are interested in food then that is where to go., Most things have originated from there in some way
[12:33] M1 Dreamscape: you get a real understanding of food there
[12:34] M1 Dreamscape: I think that most people even some American chefs here in the US lack this real understanding and a simpatico with food that Europeans have had for years
[12:35] M1 Dreamscape: My philosophy is to learn how to cook without following a recipe exactly and go on instinct or tailor a recipe to you
[12:35] Keykey Underwood: QUESTION? Are we too removed from the source of our food?
[12:35] M1 Dreamscape: learn how to make the recipe be what you want
[12:35] Maxie Mostel: Agree. I find we are more caught up in the economics here (cheap food, large portions) than the pleasurable experience of food
[12:36] M1 Dreamscape: I think that describes it although we are getting closer because of the surge of interest in a gourmet foods from around the world and at least we have knowledge of all these wonderful products out there that we never were exposed to
[12:36] Cybergrrl Oh: I agree with cooking by instinct. I don't have a great instinct but ruin recipes and almost never ruin cooking "experiments."
[12:36] M1 Dreamscape: Well cooking is really very simple, especially Italian cooking and the food that is the freshest and best quality is what makes the recipe
[12:36] Cybergrrl Oh: Maxie - I agree, too. We don't take our time to savor meals or to spend a lot of time eating and enjoying it and the company we're with.
[12:37] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: Can you give us a few helpful cookie tips - your favorite little cooking secrets that of course will not be secret anymore! LOL
[12:37] M1 Dreamscape: Italian dishes use only a small amount of ingredients but each ingredient has to be the freshest and best quality to make it a great dish
[12:37] M1 Dreamscape: Tomato sauce only uses garlic, onion,s fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil
[12:37] Cybergrrl Oh: FYI: I am posting the transcript here on Second Life Writers Club blog later this week.
[12:38] M1 Dreamscape: If you use great olive oil and tomatoes the sauce will be wonderful
[12:38] JadeBlue Barzane: thanks cybergrrl for posting it.
[12:38] M1 Dreamscape: If you use the cheap stuff= it;s just not real tomato sauce and is not fit to cover pasta
[12:39] JadeBlue Barzane: QUESTION: Just wondering what your favorite olive oil is
[12:39] Maxie Mostel: QUESTION: Do you make your own pasta?
[12:39] Keykey Underwood: QUESTION: Can we get the same tomatoes and olive oil in this country that they use in Italy?
[12:39] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: And do you have a recommendation for a good pasta maker?
[12:39] M1 Dreamscape: As far as cooking tips- use the freshest and best ingredients and you will only need a small amount
[12:39] Cybergrrl Oh: I've heard the olive oil here in the States is terrible compared to what you get in Italy. No real flavor.
[12:39] M1 Dreamscape: most people think that if they buy the real extra virgin cold pressed olive oil it is so expensive..
[12:40] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: Can you recommend a good brand of olive oil, too???
[12:40] M1 Dreamscape: But if you buy the best you will only need a little.
[12:40] M1 Dreamscape: When you choose olive oil, choose only ones that tell you where in Italy they came from, it should tell you on the bottle
[12:41] Keykey Underwood: If you buy the worst you'll need even less - no one will want it
[12:41] M1 Dreamscape: If not it is just a lot of olives fro mall over the place
[12:41] M1 Dreamscape: It really makes a difference
[12:41] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: What are the best regions for Olive Oil?
[12:41] M1 Dreamscape: Olive oil makes a big difference in what you cook
[12:41] Leandro Moskalev: QUESTION: What about Portuguese olive oil brands?? Are they a match to Italian brands?
[12:41] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: You sell a few products on your web site - what are you selling?
[12:41] M1 Dreamscape: Best regions for olive oil are : Tuscany, Abruzzo, Puglia, Sicily, Naples, Umbria
[12:42] JadeBlue Barzane: oil is is like buying a good wine, it seems, checking the label details
[12:42] Callaghan Munro: ty all, be well
[12:42] Cybergrrl Oh: good to know
[12:42] M1 Dreamscape: In the US it is easy to find a brand called Colavita which is pretty good.
[12:42] Cybergrrl Oh: Bye Callaghan - thanks for being here
[12:42] M1 Dreamscape: I have never tried Portuguese olive oil
[12:42] M1 Dreamscape: As long as they are strict in the way they produce the olives.
[12:43] M1 Dreamscape: In Italy there is history also with producing olive oil and trees have been there for very long
[12:43] M1 Dreamscape: That makes a difference
[12:43] Cybergrrl Oh: Everyone: If Maria has missed your question, please feel free to repost and we will get caught up.
[12:43] Cybergrrl Oh: Maria - you are doing great! Hope your fingers survive!
[12:43] JadeBlue Barzane: Question: How did you get started writing food articles & restaurant reviews?
[12:43] M1 Dreamscape: Although I know that in California they are staring to produce a lot of olive oils
[12:43] Cybergrrl Oh: Great question JadeBlue
[12:44] M1 Dreamscape: When I began studying cooking I started writing about and getting asked more and more to do restaurant reviews
[12:44] M1 Dreamscape: I had written before about fashion and style but food is so related to fashion and style
[12:44] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: Was it in Italy or the U.S. and where specifically were you based?
[12:45] M1 Dreamscape: Do you mean when I studied cooking
[12:45] M1 Dreamscape: I was modeling in Italy and began studying about my family;d history while there
[12:45] Cybergrrl Oh: Yes
[12:46] M1 Dreamscape: I started spending more time at my great grandparents vineyard and began studying the wine making and cheese making process there.
[12:46] Cybergrrl Oh: REPOST QUESTION: What pasta maker do you recommend and can't remember if you said that you make your own pasta or not? What pasta recipe do you recommend, as well?
[12:46] M1 Dreamscape: I also was asked to sit for well known artist in Italy who lives in the same region that they make their famous cheese Parmigiano and spent time there studying the artisan process of making that
[12:47] Laser Plasma: bye everyone
[12:47] M1 Dreamscape: as for pasta. My favorite pasta brand is called DeCecco
[12:47] M1 Dreamscape: It always comes out al dente and they have a special process for grinding the flour that has remained a secret for over 100 years
[12:47] M1 Dreamscape: So it is a great pasta
[12:47] Maxie Mostel: Cool
[12:47] Cybergrrl Oh: I'm looking it up right now!
[12:47] Cybergrrl Oh: REPOST QUESTION: QUESTION: You sell a few products on your web site - what are you selling?
[12:47] Keykey Underwood: I don't think I've seen that in the shops
[12:48] M1 Dreamscape: I know they carry it now on the East Coast. I don't know about any place else. In NY City, you can find it in a lot of gourmet stores..
[12:48] Cybergrrl Oh: Available on Amazon grocery!
[12:48] M1 Dreamscape: As far as what is on my site, I have a line of spices that I developed in Italy and we began selling them on my site under my trademark
[12:49] JadeBlue Barzane: I have seen it in stores. But gee, didn't know Amazon has a grocery, too!
[12:49] M1 Dreamscape: Each blend is developed to reflect the flavors fro a certain region so that you can make a Tuscan or a Roman meal easily just using the spice blends.
[12:49] Cybergrrl Oh: Reminder: You can click on a poster of Maria here and go straight to to learn more about or buy her book
[12:49] Keykey Underwood: Question: What are the differences between Tuscan and Roman spices?
[12:49] M1 Dreamscape: De cecoco also makes a wonderful olive oil
[12:49] Cybergrrl Oh: Any more questions that were missed?
[12:50] M1 Dreamscape: it comes for ma little town that I wrote about in my book called Loreto Aprutina
[12:50] JadeBlue Barzane: QUESTION: Did you read other authors who interweave stories with recipes?
[12:50] M1 Dreamscape: Yes, I did read Under the tuscan sun and there are a few others as well as Frances Mayles
[12:50] M1 Dreamscape: I think that makes a book so much more interesting and gives the food a meaning.
[12:51] M1 Dreamscape: 'But it is really an easy thing to do
[12:51] JadeBlue Barzane: interesting.
[12:51] M1 Dreamscape: Think of how many times you go to places fora certain food or experiences that you have that also have food or a meal involved
[12:51] M1 Dreamscape: The difference between the Tuscan blend that I developed and the Roman one
[12:52] M1 Dreamscape: The Tuscan one has more Rosemary in it. So if you want to make Tuscan Chicken or Tuscan roasted potatoes, it makes it easy
[12:52] JadeBlue Barzane: QUESTION: Does anyone hear Lynne Rosetto Kasper's show on NPR? I listen to her podcast and get her e-newsletter. She might be a place to promote your book
[12:52] M1 Dreamscape: The roman one has more garlic in it. The ancient Romans believed that garlic gave them magical powers so they have a lot of dishes that have this in it.
[12:52] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: Maria, do you have a podcast yet?
[12:53] JadeBlue Barzane: It's called Splendid Table
[12:53] M1 Dreamscape: Thanks for that I did not know about her but I will find out..
[12:53] Cybergrrl Oh: I've heard Splendid Table on iTunes - about an hour long show, isn't it?
[12:53] Keykey Underwood: I've listened to that show. It's very good
[12:53] M1 Dreamscape: I have put together the beginnings of a podcast but have not yet begun.
[12:53] M1 Dreamscape: I am working on putting a TV show together as well
[12:54] Cybergrrl Oh: That's great!
[12:54] JadeBlue Barzane: Yes, an hour. I listen to the podcast while cooking. I think it would be great to hear a podcast from Maria... or TV show!!!
[12:54] Cybergrrl Oh: QUESTION: Are you working on another book?
[12:55] M1 Dreamscape: The podcast as well as the TV show will be interviewing different celebs on what they like to eat, favorite recipes ,etc -a little bit of food, romance, style, etc all in one..
[12:55] M1 Dreamscape: Yes my next book that I finished up while I was in Italy last month is in the Basic art of Italian cooking series it is called The basic Art of Italian cooking -Holidays and Special Occasions and will be stories and recipes ,menus relating to holidays.
[12:56] Cybergrrl Oh: Very nice! You should let us know when it will debut so we can tune in.
[12:56] M1 Dreamscape: Should be out later in the year right before Christmas.
[12:56] M1 Dreamscape: I will let you know.
[12:56] Maxie Mostel: Nice!
[12:56] Cybergrrl Oh: Everyone: We'll have to wrap up in a few minutes - any more questions?
[12:56] Cybergrrl Oh: I also want to let everyone know that if you join Second Life Writers Club, I'm sending out some writing opps later today.
[12:57] JadeBlue Barzane: This has been great. Thanks!
[12:57] Maxie Mostel: QUESTION: The book is in stores now?
[12:57] M1 Dreamscape: Yes it is and online as well...
[12:57] Maxie Mostel: tx
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: And selling on Amazon! Just click on the poster if you'd like to buy it online
[12:57] Cybergrrl Oh: Maria - anything else we should know about your growing franchise?
[12:58] M1 Dreamscape: thanks so much everyone I really enjoyed meeting you all
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: Thank YOU, Maria.
[12:58] Keykey Underwood: Thank you, I want to know how to buy pastries from that little convent
[12:58] Cybergrrl Oh: Maria's website is
[12:58] M1 Dreamscape: We have developed a trademark which should have products in stores in 2009- The Basic art of ITalian Cooking by Maria liberate (tm).
[12:59] Maxie Mostel: Grazie Maria!
[12:59] M1 Dreamscape: Send me an email i will give you detailed instructions on buying pastries
[12:59] Keykey Underwood: OK
[12:59] M1 Dreamscape: mille grazie
[12:59] Cybergrrl Oh: oooh - sounds good. Email thru your web site?
[12:59] M1 Dreamscape:
[12:59] Cybergrrl Oh: Thanks everyone for being here. We have more exciting guests coming up next week - and every week!
[13:00] Maxie Mostel: Thanks Cybergrrl! Great session. :)
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: Maria - hope you enjoyed your first time in SL!
[13:01] Cybergrrl Oh: We'd love to have you back to promote your new TV show/podcast and next book so please keep in touch.
[13:01] M1 Dreamscape: Thanks so much for guiding me through my first SL session, yes I really enjoyed it and hope to be coming back and keep in touch also. Now I am going to try to get up

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Great Coverage of Maria Liberati

We got some nice coverage of our latest Second Life Writers Club meeting with special guest author Maria Liberati. SL reporter Maxie Mostel posted about it!

Cooking in Second Life

Cooking up sales in SL: Maria Liberati and The Basic Art of Italian Cooking

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Visiting Second Life

Thanks for the posts! Maria is open to returning to promote her upcoming TV show, podcast and next book so stay tuned...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Feb 7, WED - 12pm SLT - Garret Bakalava,

Stay tuned for details about the next Second Life Writers Club meeting. Our special guest will be Garret Bakalava, new owner of She'll talk about the big changes at this top AP-style news blog for Second Life.