Interview by Monika Kiss
From Thailand to Malawi, to Bolivia and the Fiji islands, born and raised in Tuscany, Gabriel Galimberti presents a series of images in his project ‘In Her Kitchen’ featuring grandmothers from all over the world — sharing their favourite dishes and love for cooking. Gabriel’s project (captured from 60 different countries worldwide!) never fails to emit a sense of familiarity, nostalgia, and comfort, hitting home for many.
How did you get into photography?
I felt in love with photography when I was 12. At that time my father had the hobby of photography and he built a little dark room at home. I remember that I was helping him to develop films and print photos. I clearly remember that moments when the photo appears on a white paper immersed on the chemical. It was like a magic moment. I decided that I wanted to became a photographer in that period, so, when I was older I decided to go to a photography school in Florence (Italy). I studied there for 3 years, and then, around the age of 20 I started to work as photographer.
Tell us a bit about “In Her Kitchen”. How did you get started with it?
When I started my trip around the world with the idea of making a documentary about CouchSurfing all my family was a little worried for the fact that i was going away from home for two years. I was going to travel in many different countries, sleeping at other people’s homes, hosted by people that I didn’t know. I then realized though that my grandmother was mostly worried about the food that I was going to eat. She told me something like: “Are you sure you want to go? What are you going to eat in Africa? And in China? You should stay at home. I can cook for you.”
All this made me laugh a lot and I told to my grandma: “You know grandma? There are many grandmothers all over the world and I’m sure they will be happy to feed me and cook something special for me.” This is the way i had the idea for this project!
I’m sure you got to try all the dishes.Which was your favourite?
Yes, I tried everything! I would say I liked 90% of the recipes of the book. The best one is of course my grandmother! But I also love Asian food, so, the recipe in Thailand, Philippines and Japan.
What do you love most about your job?
The best thing about my job now is that I have the chance to travel the world. I spend almost 8 months a year traveling! It is amazing.
Where is home for you, and what’s your favourite dish to eat when you return?
My home is in Tuscany, more precisely Castiglion Fiorentino. Every time that I go back home I love to invite friends for dinner at home and cook for them. I usually prefer to cook at home when I’m in Italy, not because there are not good restaurants around my house, but just because I’m always traveling and eating outside, so, when I’m at home I like to prepare my own food. One of the first thing that I always do is to cook a really big steak on the fireplace and open a good bottle of red Italian wine.
Other than photography, do you have any other hobbies?
I love motorbikes! I have two Ducatis and every time that I have some free time, I take one of my motorbike and I drive it around Tuscany for a whole day.