A Kitchen in Rome

“I am drawn to grandmas and domesticity,” says Rachel Roddy, drinking her espresso. As a child, the eldest of three, she was a helpful little girl who enjoyed cooking Yorkshire pudding and cakes in her grandmother’s Aga, and loved visiting her other Granny’s northern pub for meat pie.
Since living in Italy – she’s called Rome home for the last 14 years – Rachel has learnt to cook from various older women, often those who live above or below her in the apartment she shares with her partner, Vincenzo, and seven year old son, Luca. The intergenerational nature of living in Rome, not to mention the abundance of good cooking, must appeal to that little girl within.
Although she hadn’t intended to stay in Rome, she quickly felt welcomed by it (even if she’s quick to point out that she’ll never wholly belong). “Rome is a city of pilgrims, inclusive as well as excluding. Living in Testaccio, you’re physically in a big city, but it has the soul and the head of a provincial town, and the heart of a gossipy little village. Anyone can join in with the joys and frustrations of it, from politics to rubbish collection.”

Words by Mina Holland
Commissioned by TOAST