Summer Vacation “Do”. Pack Your Pasta Maker.

As a caterer, obsessive food-centric person, our family vacations have traditionally revolved around food. Our daughters’ earliest questions were more often “where are we eating dinner?” rather than “when are we getting there?”. Now that they are all grown up, the question has become what country are we going to and what are we eating there? Last year, India and Delhi. This year, Italy and Amalfi.

It was decided by the whole family, (that would be 12 of us, Los Angeles-based brother and family and grandparents from Florida,) would rent a villa in Amalfi.  We would go out to dinner, sure.  But who would handle all of the other breakfasts, lunches, and dinners when we were too tired to go out?  When it dawned on me that I was the only one in the family who had a culinary repertoire expanding past making salad, I realized that I had one of two choices.  Spend the entire vacation cooking for 12 or, bring my right hand in all things culinary, Entertaining Company’s Executive Chef: Shawn Doolin.

I asked Shawn if he would join us for our vacation, and he was only too happy to oblige. He did ask me to pack a pasta maker.  I figured it was the least that I could do…

pasta makers fit in your suitcase nicely, I have found…



As an added bonus, the five “kids” under 30 are going to get a daily master class in local gastronomy, Amalfi-style.  Surely they’ll want to practice their learnings on us in the evenings?  I am happy to volunteer to hunt and gather — as we visit vineyards for DOC wine, markets for fish, and scour the countryside for verdure to whip up together. Homemade Lemoncello anyone? La dolce vita comes home, that is, our home away from home: Villa Il Baglio.

Whereas spontaneous packing is usually our style, now our Amalfi packing list has morphed from sunglasses, sunblock, and camera to “what kitchen equipment do we need?” Sea, sun, beach and kitchen will be our coordinates. Condense the bikinis. Jam in the pasta maker. Chef knives…allowed? Pizza oven on site? How many burners? These are the questions we are now asking.

Next up, where are our top 10 places we are going for inspiration to plan this family eating adventure?