Provence & French Riviera: Tour de Taste, France

Join Viktorija for a tasting trip this July or October in Provence and the French Riviera: Tour de Taste, France.

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Provence Food and Wine

Pick up your copy of Provence Food and Wine today. It's ready to ship.

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The Sardinian Cookbook

Ajo! The cooking and culture of The Sardinian Cookbook was a nominated as finalist in the 2014 IACP Culinary Travel category. Pick up your copy of The Sardinian Cookbook today.

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Nice Cuisine and the Art of Living

Nice Cuisine and the Art of Living An interactive book for iOS. Also available as an eBook for Kindle.

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Wines of Puglia

Explore the Wines of Puglia with this interactive book for iOS.

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The Puglian Pasta Lady

She makes pasta super fast! She sings! Is there anything the Puglian Pasta Lady can't do?

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Get The Puglian Cookbook

The Chicago Tribune loves The Puglian Cookbook and so will you!

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Let's Make Homemade Cavatelli

Roll up your sleeves and follow along as Viktorija and Michelle make fresh cavatelli at home.

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Viktorija’s Secret

Many aren't familiar with the region of Puglia—the heel of the Italian "boot"—although it has the simplest, yet most flavorful cuisine in Italy. Listen in as Viktorija tells its secrets to the Culinary Historians of Chicago.

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WJJG Interview (in Italian)

Viktorija broke out in Italian for this interview with local Chicago radio station WJJG-AM 1530.

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Risotto Made Easy

Risotto is a simple dish, but the process of making it can be complex. There are only 4-5 steps in making risotto, but it is important to get each step right so your risotto is creamy and flavorful with just the right texture.

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About Oliva

What I believe

I believe the world needs more people passionate about food, wine, and culture. I am on a mission to spread love for food and cooking and guide you to discovering what you like and how to prepare it so you can nourish yourself and those around you. I believe that the moments we spend around food and wine in the company of others should be re-vitalized as those are some of the most memorable experiences.

What I do

I write about food and wine, pouring my passion into recipes, articles, and commentaries on all things food and wine.

I lead individual and group cooking classes where we get real about food, we talk about the importance of eating well, and we cook together.

I lead wine tastings and courses, making topics such wine styles, food pairings, and how to choose wines for any occasion easy to understand. I leave pretension at the door and get real about wine, helping my clients discover what they like and why and giving them advice they can use.

How I got here

I grew up in a culture where families came together around food and wine. We always ate home-cooked food and often that food was also grown in the backyard. I remember the hours spent cooking everything from jams and vegetable spreads to slowly-simmered lamb stews. I might not have appreciated the effort that went into preparing the food, but I did appreciate the aromas and flavors, the excitement when we finally gathered around the dining room table, anticipating another great meal.

I was always interested in language and how it opens up a whole new world of ideas. So, I studied languages. Fortunately for me, studying languages involved travel. And it was during the summers in Italy studying the language that I discovered Italian food, its simplicity and the vibrant energy of its flavors. Every meal, be it a quick pizza or a slowly simmered pasta sauce, created instant flavor memories that are with me to this day.

A summer spent at a cooking school in Florence turned into two summers and a lifelong passion for Italian cooking, the simple combinations of flavorful ingredients that express the essence of those ingredients.

Ever since I first visited Puglia, considered by many to have the best food in Italy (a country with great food all over!), I wanted to help my clients discover its simple but life-changing dishes that feed not only the body but also the soul.

Where to find me

Here. And on Facebook. And in bookstores.

Write to me. I read all emails and respond to those that are specific. I also appreciate feedback when offered in a constructive manner and meant from the heart.

I post news and interesting food and wine info on Facebook, so find me there if you like what I am saying.

And, of course, sign up for a class or come to a book signing if you’d like to meet me in person. If you live far away, write me to inquire about the webinars I do.

Feel free to use any of the information on this site and give me credit for it. If you want to link to my site, please let me know. I will be flattered.


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