My chat with Letitia Ann Clark helped me discover Sardinian food more profoundly. Letitia is a gifted painter and illustrator, and author of the acclaimed Sardinia-inspired cookbook, Bitter Honey.
Letitia is originally from Devon and after her degree and masters in English literature she went on to train as a chef at the Leiths School of Food and Wine.
Letitia worked at a number of restaurants in London. She was head pastry chef at the now Michelin starred Ellory. She later moved to Morito and here she met her Sardinian partner Luca, also a chef. In 2017 they made the move to Sardinia together.
Letitia’s first book, Bitter Honey, a discovery of Sardinian Food
Letitia views this book as her love letter to Sardinia. The title reflects the lifestyle in Sardina, both bitter and sweet. Reflective of this concept is the strawberry tree that grows in Sardinia, a corbezzolo tree. The honey made from this tree is sweet and delicious but with bitter tones.
The corbezzolo tree also grows in a few other regions in Italy, like Puglia. This is some of the fruit that I gathered on one of my recent trips to Puglia.
Discover Sardinian Food through recipes featured in Bitter Honey
Campari and Blood Orange Granita
Letitia’s cocktail of choice is Campari and she dedicates a few pages of her book to its history and how her love affair with Campari began. She loves Campari’s rich, luscious and vibrant red color. One of her recipes is a Campari and blood orange granita.
Blood Orange, Ricotta, Polenta and Olive Oil Cake
Letitia loves the blood oranges she used in the granita recipe. She uses them again in her delicious dessert recipe: Blood Orange, Ricotta, Polenta and Olive Oil Cake.
Discover Sardinian Food: Pecorino Cheese
Sardinia is known for its wonderful pecorino cheese and many pecorino producers throughout Italy were originally from Sardinia. Sardinian pecorino is delicious grated over pasta, eaten on its own and it’s wonderful in Letitia‘s recipe for Roasted Pecorino, Walnuts and Honey.
Discover Sardinian Food: Saffron
Sardinia’s also known for its high quality saffron and Letitia features it in her recipe for Saffron Custard and Panettone Pudding.
Letitia‘s new and soon to be released cookbook: La Vita è Dolce: Italian-inspired Desserts
The release date is June 29, 2021 but the book is already available for pre-order. The inspiration for La Vita è Dolce came during lockdown; sweets are cheerful and uplifting so lockdown was the perfect time to embark on this project.
Letitia loves everything sweet and especially enjoys classic Italian sweet breakfasts rather than the traditional British egg and bacon breakfast. All the recipes in this book are Italian-inspired sweets plus some of Letitia’s own.
Plans for a third book
Letitia’s goal is to complete a third book by the time she reaches age 35. This next book will be a food themed memoir.
Letitia’s Paintings and Illustrations
Letitia’s other passion is her art and her watercolor and ink illustrations.
She illustrates gorgeous cards and prints featuring the brightly colored produce you find all over Sardinia’s and mainland Italy‘s markets.
Some of her illustrations are fanciful and whimsical like King Prawn:
Her illustrations have been featured in prestigious publications worldwide including the New York Times.
Letitia‘s vision for her future
Certainly Letitia plans to continue with her food writing, painting and her illustrations. At some point she’d like to publish another book, possibly a children’s cookbook, featuring her own illustrations.
Letitia loves Sardinia and she plans to create a structure, like an agriturismo, to welcome guests and tourists. She wants to share the Sardinian experience of the land, and wants them to discover the delicious Sardinian food. She envisions something low-key, lovely, authentic and affordable.
Letitia also wants to grow her own vegetables and rear her own animals, especially goats. She loves goat milk products.
How to contact Letitia
You can find Letitia on Instagram, through her website, or contact her directly by email.
If you’re interested in purchasing her illustrations you’ll find some of them on her website. She also draws and paints commissions privately; send her an email.
More about Sardinia
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