Vittoria from Italy
EF Academy New York
At just 16 years old, EF Academy New York student Vittoria published her own cookbook about Italian cuisine and lifestyle. Her project not only helped her own family during a challenging time, but also her community back in Tuscany. Vittoria's story proves that you are never too young to be a changemaker.
How did your cookbook project start?
I have always loved cooking, but it was actually during the pandemic that I truly discovered my passion. My parent's had to work more than they usually do, and didn't have time to cook, so I decided to take action. I didn't want to be a child who expects that their parents will do everything for them, so I decided to help them by cooking for them. After a while my skills improved, and my parents started encouraging me to follow this path and to write a book. At first I thought that it would be too much for me, I thought 'I'm just 16, how can I write a cookbook?', but then I thought it would be interesting to do something I've never done before, so I did it!
Could you tell us a little bit about the book?
I found an antiquated manuscript with 300 year old recipes, and I had this amazing idea that I could try to cook all of these recipes and adapt them to our current society. As you can imagine, the ingredients were much heavier than what we use today, so I wanted to modernize them. It isn't just an Italian kitchen cookbook, it's about the Italian lifestyle. I started working on it in August 2020, and as soon as we had gathered all the material we needed, I started writing the text for the book. It wasn't easy, I had to juggle doing homework and writing the cookbook, but I did it!
"Don't assume that just because you are young, you won't make a difference. You will make a difference, you don't have to wait until you grow up and get a job, be the difference now. Don't wait."
What impact has your book had so far?
When we published the book in April 2021 I started to advertise it on Instagram and on my blog, and we have sold around 2000 copies. The book has had a great success and I'm really happy about it, because I feel that I helped my family by writing it. Also, 15% of the funds that the book sale raised went to help my family to buy a new vehicle for the hospital in our community back in Italy. So, I didn't just help my family with my project, but also our community.
How do you inspire others?
I would recommend everyone to be a supporting part of your family. Don't expect your parents to do everything for you, they are just human and can't do everything. Don't take their actions for granted, from simple things like buying you an ice cream, to big things like supporting you in studying abroad. Respond to the love and effort they show you by showing your desire to help them. Don't assume that just because you are young, you won't make a difference. You will make a difference, you don't have to wait until you grow up and get a job, be the difference now. Don't wait.
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