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Mission Europe 2: Simple Food for Intelligent People

Peppe Zullo has a contagious zest for life.  He likes it slow and he likes it smart.  He is a chef generous in his knowledge, a man with a smile in his heart and most importantly a person who sees value in everything.  His place can be divided into a trinity of sorts…Villa Jamele, Paradiso and Ristorante Peppe Zullo.

Villa Jamele is a place of education.  There is a wonderful kitchen for classes, a bountiful garden with an endless variety of ingredients, paths through shaded orchards and animals that set the soundtrack of the day.  You can learn how to recognize something that is perfectly ripe, get acquainted with the down to earth cooking that is part of Peppe Zullo’s philosophy and study where your meal comes from.

Paradiso wraps you in the essence of enology (a big word for wine culture).  Every detail down to the complimentary body wash and shampoo is somehow tied to the fruit of old Egyptian luxury.  Sleep is swift and peaceful in the secluded darkened rooms.  You can watch the sun rise over the rooftops of the nearby historic city.  Each morning you walk under an arch from the 16th century and out into a world of color.

Ristorante Peppe Zullo is a kitchen bustling with creative simplicity and energetic cooks that provide elegant meals that taste like Nonna is behind the stove.  Fresh, earthy, bright and bold; all adjectives that describe the dishes that are placed before you in true Italian style.  Meals are slow and long, designed to allow you to enjoy every morsel, every conversation and every special moment of the evening.

Peppe Zullo has a philosophy most of the world would benefit from adopting.  His outlook is sunny, his work ethics inspiring and his take charge approach is impressive.  When you visit him and the special place he has created I think you will agree with me in that his vision is both admirable and attainable.  He will tell you repeatedly that he is all about “Simple Food for Intelligent People”.

There are no tricks, no fancy menu descriptions, no whistles and bells…  Peppe Zullo is as straight forward as they come.  When you can walk away from Paradiso there is an extra spring in your step.  You feel better, think better and eat better.  Now I could tell you to go spend a few days in Paradise, I could recommend the restaurant’s delicious concoctions, I could even tell you it should be on your bucket list…

What I really want to share with you all today is something that Peppe said about life during our 10K…  And he said this in his adopted Mexican accent: “En la vida hay que tener tiempo para tres cosas.  Tiempo para amarse.  Tiempo para amar.  Y tiempo para ser amado.”

The translation of those wise words my dear readers is this: “In life you must make time for three things.  Time to love yourself.  Time to love another.  And time to allow yourself to be loved.”

With that I will say adieu.

Stay tuned for more…

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