On the Italian Riviera a few miles south east of Genoa, is one of Italy’s most iconic and picturesque little harbours which has long been a magnet for the glitterati.
This is where we first met our great friends Franco and Nina – Franco, a true Genovese, has since made it his mission to educate us in the gastronomy of Liguria. What a gift!
Situated right on the waterfront in Portofino, the Splendido Mare’s Chufflay restaurant is another old favourite of ours.
We’ve known Santo, the maitre d’ here, for at least 25 years, and love to eat here whenever we’re in town. Chef Roberto’s walnut sauce is almost as important as pesto and In the evenings, resident piano-man Mauro will keep you lingering till the early hours.
Just a stone’s throw from the harbour is the Panificio Canale, renowned for its focaccia, and run by brother-and-sister team Giorgio and Mariangela.
I will never forget Giorgio teaching me to make his world-famous focaccia, whilst Mariangela had us in hysterics with the story of when, as a small girl, she dropped Rex Harrison’s newly won Oscar into the harbour.
This converted Benedictine monastery on the hillside overlooking the entrance to Portofino harbour is now one of the world’s finest hotels.
It’s here that chef Corrado taught me to make the authentic pesto alla Genovese – which has to be Liguria’s gift to the world.