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Valentina’s story begins in 1369 with her remarkable heritage, rooted in the illustrious Sforza Dynasty, a ruling family of Milan. The legacy of her Italian lineage has only grown stronger with time, embraced by her close Anglo-Italian family of gourmets, who first taught Valentina to cook at the age of 6 years old.


Classically trained in Italy, Valentina brought her culinary expertise from Rome to London in 1976 as a skilled private chef. Her reputation flourished with the publication of her 1984 award-winning debut cookery book Perfect Pasta.


Spending over four decades honing her skills, Valentina is an expert at what she does, equipped with the story telling skills to match. Delighting audiences small and large with her anecdotes and culinary adventures, Valentina has marked herself as an ambassador for authentic Italian cuisine.

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Writing and teaching 

Valentina’s talents expand far beyond the kitchen; she is also an award-winning author of over 50 culinary books and has worked as a passionate educator for multiple esteemed institutions, including:


  • Divertimenti

  • The Limpsfield Cookery School

  • The Billingsgate Cookery School

  • La Cucina Caldesi

  • The Cookery School at The Grand, York

  • The Bertinet Kitchen

  • The School of Artisan Food

As a highly sought-after teacher, Valentina shares her unique food philosophy which is centred around about 80% Italian and absolutely authentic, though sometimes with her own twist, seasonal and local produce, served with minimum fuss and maximum care.


To cook Italian cuisine is to tell a story of rich history and cultural traditions, a process which Valentina translates to the page effortlessly. Her literary achievements are extensive, but two honourable mentions are: The Italian Regional Cookbook, her biggest book to date, taking over ten years to compile and covering the regional cuisine of Italy in its entirety and Fiori Di Zucca: Recipes and Memories from My Family’s Kitchen Table, a touching book of personal memoirs with unique recipes to match.


She has also served as a valued member of the BBC External Advisory Board on all publications and media output related to food, and regularly contributes to a number of publications, including BBC Good Food, Platinum Magazine, and Delicious Magazine.

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