Or is a historian of ideas. She read history in Bologna and Oxford, completed her doctorate at Cambridge and now teaches at City, University of London.

She also trained as chef de patisserie at the legendary Cordon Bleu cookery school in Paris. Her favourite family recipes blend the flavours of Samarkand, Riga, Egypt and Jerusalem. Every autumn she returns to Casarciccia, her family’s farmhouse in Umbria, to make organic olive oil and red wine.

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