As part our Grazie series we’re taking a closer look at the most exciting artists, designers, chefs and creatives inspired by Italian style. Born in Rome and now based in London, Giulia Mulè creates, photographs and writes about delicious food on her blog, Mondomulia, as well as showcasing her inspiring travel photography and insightful restaurant reviews. We caught up with Giulia to talk about the importance of simplicity, her favourite ingredients and the timeless beauty of Rome.
Hi Giulia. Can you tell us about yourself and what you do?
Hello! I’m a food and travel blogger and food photographer. I grew up in Rome, then ten years ago I moved to London, fell in love with the city and with my husband, and I have lived there ever since.
When did you first get into food, photography and travel blogging? What do you enjoy about it and what inspires you to continue?
I started my blog Mondomulia in 2011 while I was working full time for an advertising agency. I never in a million years thought that blogging could become a career!
I always loved travelling, trying local cuisines and looking for the best restaurants in my city and abroad. Photography was my creative outlet, as I found my office job quite boring. I was mostly taking street photos and portraits at the time and sharing them on Flickr and Facebook. I wanted a space to tell the stories behind my pictures. That’s how my blog was born.
My fellow bloggers and Instagrammers constantly inspire me. Some of the people I follow (from London and from all around the world) create truly stunning pictures. Their hard work and talent motivates me to get better every day and share the best photos and stories I possibly can.
You were born in Rome and now live in London. Tell us about the Italian food scene in London and your favourite restaurants.
There are so many Italian restaurants in London that serve authentic regional dishes made with the highest quality ingredients from my country. It’s impossible to list them all! I like Tozi in Victoria, Palatino in Clerkenwell, Osteria Tufo in Finsbury Park and Padella in Borough. My favourite pizza in London is at my local pizzeria Mamma Dough in Brixton.
The truth is I rarely eat Italian food outside my house, unless it is for a special occasion like a birthday. I cook good Italian food at home, so when I do eat out I prefer to try other cuisines such as Japanese, Indian or Persian / Middle Eastern.
What do you think makes Italian food and dining so special?
Its simplicity. Italian dishes aren’t overly complicated; they usually don’t require long cooking times or lots of spices and marinades. It’s all about using fresh, seasonal and tasty ingredients and pairing them in a way that enhances their flavours.
Italian dining is a very social activity and that’s what I love about it. I love cooking and sharing the food with my friends and family, that’s what makes a meal truly special for me.
What are some of your favourite Italian recipes? Do you think it’s important for chefs to put modern twists on traditional Italian recipes?
I love the traditional pasta dishes from my hometown, Rome, such as Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Bucatini alla Matriciana and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe.
It can be interesting and fun when chefs put a modern twist on a traditional recipe, but personally I always prefer the classics. If a recipe has been around for centuries, why change it? The most important thing is to choose the best possible ingredients and then prepare the dish with love. You can’t go wrong with that!
From amaretto to salumi, Italian food uses a wide range of unique ingredients. Which Italian ingredients could you not live without?
There are so many! I love extra virgin olive oil and use it everyday; it’s not only really tasty and versatile, but is also good for your body. Fresh, juicy tomatoes from Southern Italy with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt are one of the best things ever! I always have a wedge of Grana Padano cheese in my fridge. I love cooking with fresh Italian herbs, such as basil, rosemary and oregano.
Tell us about some of your favourite places to visit in Italy.
There are so many wonderful places to see in Italy, visitors are truly spoilt for choice! Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, fact. Its beauty is breathtaking and timeless. There is something magic about wandering aimlessly through Rome’s cobbled streets, admiring the beautiful architecture, fountains and statues, watching the locals, stopping for a gelato, and immersing yourself in the Roman lifestyle. For a summer holiday I’d choose Sicily. I would start in Palermo (where my dad is from) to eat all the amazing street food, cannoli and cassata cake, then drive west to the beautiful beaches of Scopello, Zingaro National Park and San Vito Lo Capo for a relaxing time.