About Taylor-Made Culinary ToursVirginia Taylor's culinary passion began the moment she and her mother stepped off the plane at the Buenos Aires International Airport in 1978. They were immediately accosted by a gaggle of strangers fighting over who would be having the two Americans over for dinner that night. As it turned out, these supposed strangers were in fact Virginia's relatives: sisters to her mother, and their husbands and children. Sitting around the many family dinner tables over the ensuing weeks, Virginia returned to the States inspired, not just by the South American cuisine she enjoyed but the insistence on long meals with lots of wine. Born and raised in the Bay Area to Lithuanian émigrés by way of Argentina, Virginia has continued to cultivate the same international and cultural exposure she experienced on that first trip to Buenos Aires within her own family. Transplanting her husband and three children to Barcelona, Spain in 2004, Virginia once again had the opportunity to expand her own culinary repertoire: shopping for food in the world's best markets, exploring unique restaurants tucked amidst Gothic cathedrals, and roaming the streets and alleys to find the perfect dessert. Virginia's cooking reflects her cultural sensitivity and is rooted in fresh, seasonal products. Produce purchased at local farmers markets and homegrown herbs, fruits, and vegetables mark her cuisine. Paired with a wine from her husband's extensive cellar, Virginia creates dishes as varied as salmon risotto with whiskey and dill, filet mignon roulade with raisins and pinenuts in a fresh tomato sauce, and lemony panna cotta with blueberry sauce for her cooking classes. She is author and editor of The Woodside Priory Cookbook, and will soon begin an open-source food blog on her adventures in the kitchen. Virginia lives in Belmont, California but splits her time between Lake Tahoe, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco and traveling abroad.
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