Just under a year ago I was trawling through food blogs, as you do, bookmarking recipes and researching new foods, when I stumbled across Russell and his lovely little blog Chasing Delicious, based in Texas. It was a brilliant name and the more I read Russell’s stunning prose, gazed upon his beautiful photography and laughed heartily at his wit, the more I came to realise that his blog name was entirely apt for his being.
Over time Russell and I have become great friends (though we missed each other when I was in Texas, sadly), I’m even a contributor now for the new format of Chasing Delicious. He is charming, gorgeous and downright hilarious, and I’m absolutely thrilled that he offered to write me a guest post today, as well as incredibly honoured that this is the first one he’s ever written. And you know what? Russell being the way he is couldn’t just give you one recipe, no, he’s given you two different variations of his grilled pizza with room for more! That’s just the kinda chap he is! So, I’ll leave you in Russell’s more than capable hands – thank you, my dear!
The bright glare of the eager morning sun begins to break through the curtains in my small, cozy hotel room highlighting the hundreds of years of blemishes and scars the walls hold dear. The busy sounds of shops opening and tourists gallivanting about on the narrow, foreign street below seep in with the burgeoning sun. I resist the urge to join the masses. I’m on vacation. I can afford to sleep in. The curtains, now failing at keeping the sun from my room, simply diffuse the bright morning light bathing me and the ancient room in an idyllic glow. The smells of cured meats and baking breads begin to waft in to my room perched not far above a collection of delicious shops. Each wave redolent of delicious perfection tempts and tantalizes my virgin nose. Suddenly a smell so very familiar and comfortable dances its way to me. I am enveloped in the beautiful aromas of bread, strong scents of melted cheeses and the just slightly pungent, acidic fragrance of a perfected-over-the-generations tomato sauce.
I can no longer resist. I leap from my not-so-comfortable hotel bed and throw on whatever clothes happen to be on top of the pile so delicately stashed in my suitcase. I run to my brother’s room seeking a partner for my culinary journey and to my astonishment the king of sleeping in is already awake and sporting the same eager, excited face as I. Clearly he has smelled the pizza as well. We run to the stairwell, leaping down three steps at a time taking little care to hide our anticipation. Our gallop comes to an abrupt stop as we reach the open hotel doors, beyond them is the pristine, perfect-in-all-ways, better-than-a-post-card venetian street. Our looks of excitement change to pure flabbergast. We are two foodies obsessed with pastas, pizzas and soccer, and we’re in the motherland. With little more than a thought we merge into the human traffic flowing down the narrow streets weaving our way in and out, up and down, through and past one small street after the other. Our noses do the work. We simply glide along waiting for the smell of perfection to bring us to our first pizza shop.