Then came along a personal project that needed to be completed for school. He was asked to produce a truly creative pieces of work of his own choice and demonstrate the extent of his independent learning skills.
Mummy had one more condition: it was not to be about football!
After some brainstorming over the summer holidays in the middle of the Aegean Sea where we went from Argentinean heritage - Expat boy was born in Buenos Aires - to Italian immigrants across the globe, we came up with the idea of combining my boys love for food along with his Neapolitan roots - where his father was born - and conquer the Neapolitan cuisine with the help of his Nonna!
This project would also strategically fit in with his goal to enter hotel school in Switzerland after having accomplished his IB.
Over the past three months Expat boy has been cutting onions, squashing garlic, roasting eggplant, cooking tomatoes, melting mozzarella, throwing in a dash of origano here and a bunch of basilico there.
He is learning the secrets of the trade while skyping his Nonna following her recipes that she has been using for over 60 years!
This weekend Nonna came to visit in Paris. Last night Gregory was to cook for the family, turns out we had some unexpected guests and he ended up producing a meal for nine people.
Ciambotta (vegetable stew) and rotoli di frittata (omelette rolls) were on the menu. We realised at about 7pm that we would not have enough to go around for all. In Naples there is a saying: "Where there is enough food for 10 there is enough for one more." My boy turned around calm and collected saying: "Don't worry, Mummy. I'll just make some pasta with pesto as a starter." I looked at him and smiled. At that moment, I was the proudest Mummy that can be! Not only was my baby cooking, he knew how to improvise, come up with alternative ingredients (we didn't have any pine nuts at hand) and serve a truly authentic - and delicious - Italian dinner for a party of nine.
Ma quant'è bravo quel bel figlio mio!
Preparing the pesto
Ciambotta ready to serve
Rotoli di frittata with spinach and ham