‘The Cuisine of the Spanish Gitano’: Valerio Farris

Program Description

The Cuisine of the Spanish Roma and
Cultural Preservation with Valerio Farris

A lunchtime ZOOM presentation followed by open discussion, moderated by Cara DeSilva, a writer and lecturer who sits on the board of the Gypsy Lore Society, publishers of Romani Studies.

Valerio Farris learned about the cuisine of the Roma and the importance of preserving their recipes and culture by cooking with Roma people. An ethnic group that probably migrated from Northern India, Roma have lived in Europe for more than a thousand years. Today there are an estimated 750,000 Roma (also called Romani or Gitanos) living in Spain. Farris, a CHNY Scholar’s Grant recipient, has spent time with Roma activists and chefs in and around Barcelona, focused on Roma communities in Catalunya. He studied the processes of collecting and archiving recipes and recorded Roma culinary history as a collaborative practice.

A food writer, researcher, and cook, Valerio Farris studied media at New York University and worked as a cheesemonger before pivoting to food media and working for Food52 as a staff writer. Since then, he’s lived in Barcelona giving tours of the city’s markets, teaching foreigners to make paella, and eating an anchovy a day. He now lives in Berlin, where he works as a creative editor for the cooking start-up Kitchen Stories.