With heritage like Valentina’s, it is no wonder she is such a well-respected authority on Italian food and food culture.


Tracing her family back to 1369 through the illustrious Sforza dynasty, Valentina is the youngest member of a large Anglo-Italian family of gourmets. Educated in Italy, Valentina brought her qualifications for teaching and cooking from Rome to London in 1976, where she built her reputation primarily as a private chef until the publication of her first award-winning cookery book in 1984 - ‘Perfect Pasta’.


The award winning author of over 40 books on Italian food, Valentina is a well known celebrity chef and an experienced and enthusiastic teacher at a number of schools including Divertimenti and Caldesi in London, Bertinet in Bath,  and the renowned School of Artisan Food in Welbeck,. sharing her food philosophy of seasonal local produce served with minimum fuss and maximum care.


As the proprietor, principal tutor and regulator at Cucina Valentina Ltd. She loves to organise and chart culinary adventures across Europe, specialising in bespoke gastronomic culinary experiences and cookery courses in Italy with an impressive wealth of knowledge of both food and wine. Activities you can expect could include truffle hunting, visits to local olive oil and food producers and wine tastings. She is an extraordinary individual providing endless personal anecdotes about her family life in Italy, which includes her first experience of learning to cook at the age of six with the family chef who taught her everything she knows about growing produce for the kitchen. Her famous stories about her family's colourful history; her life in Italy and the UK; her career highlights as a woman in the food business and her own food philosophy honed over more than 40 years as a self-styled ambassadress for real, authentic Italian food and the extraordinary producers that make the ingredients for her much loved recipes are educational and entertaining.


All Valentina’s  food and wine experience courses are tailor-made to suit her clients’ requirements and are inclusive of food, tuition, accommodation, beverages, excursions and transfers to and from the airport. Valentina also provides her services as a private chef at a location of choice for anything from a single meal, or a day, weekend, week or even longer!


She is a regular face at food fairs across the UK and you will also find her appearing on radio and television from time to time.


As  the co-founder and outgoing President of the London Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Valentina will remain committed to strengthening the position of professional women in the world of food, beverage and hospitality, and uses the experiences and lessons learned in her long career in the food business to mentor young women who dream of a career within it. The main chapter is in the U.S. with chapters in London and Canada, and plans are afoot for a new chapter opening soon in Scotland.


‘Fiori di Zucca: Recipes and Memories from My Family's Kitchen Table’ is Valentina’s long awaited book of family memoirs and recipes, published by Duncan Baird Publishers in June 2013. Her books cover food and wine, culinary customs and traditions from all the regions of Italy; and the book featuring her signature dish ‘Risotto Risotto’ was re-published by Bloomsbury  (in association with Absolute) in spring 2017.