Rustic adj.   1.  of, relating to, or typical of country life   2.  a. lacking refinement or elegance; coarse   b. charmingly simple or understated

Retro adj.   involving, relating to, or reminiscent of things past

I have thought often about changing the name of this blog…  Should it have my name in the title?  Is the name rustica retro too off-centre or too pretentious?  Is there a cleverer expression out there that better sums up what I like to write about?  A good friend then told me that everyone ends up hating their blog name, and that I should just shut up and stick with it.  In the end I do have a penchant for all things rustic, and am a chronic hoarder, and not just of objects, but ways of doing things; recipes, sewing patterns and other things I have learnt from my mother, and she in turn from her mother. The sort of felicità that comes from having recycled the dinner left-overs, patched a pair of jeans and turned an unused linen table cloth into a set of curtains.

I was born in 1970 and christened Alice Esther Mary Adams.  At eighteen I changed my middle name to Kiandra in an act of youthful independence.  In 2005 I came to Rome to spend a year perfecting my Italian and learning more about the voluminous cucina Italiana, and so extensive has that research proved to be that I am still here.   I live between Rome and a small town called Lubriano; which lies between lake Bolsena and Orvieto in northern Lazio.  I am a cook, and as an extension of that I work as a food stylist, and when I get the opportunity I develop recipes (mainly for Italian clients) and write articles about Italian regional food.  I like talking politics, mercatini, and gathering things to cook with.  My favourite restaurants are the nondescript ones where you (almost) always find the most authentic food.


photo: Mark Chew


To view my food styling and published work click here.

I do gastronomic tours and cooking lessons for Casa Mia food and wine, as well as tailored seasonal cooking experiences for which you should email me at

To visit our house at Lubriano on Air B’n’B  click here.

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