Set in the beautiful medieval town of Sarnano, Cookucina is a simple celebration of regional Italian food and the all-natural ingredients grown in the lush countryside in the foothills of the Sibillini Mountains. Lia Rocchiccioli is a professional chef who specializes in the unique Marchigiana cuisine. An adopted daughter of Le Marche, she has cooked for a living everywhere from luxury yachts to the Sahara desert. But the natural food and the healthy and relaxed lifestyle always bring her back to Le Marche. Lia is learning English from Tamsen Courtenay, American by birth, English by upbringing and now Sarnano resident. Tam works in Sarnano as a teacher of English as a foreign language. In Cookucina, Tam learns to cook alla Marchigiana, while Lia tries to improve her English. Firm friends from totally difficult backgrounds, Tam and Lia travel the beautiful countryside to collect pure and natural ingredients from the rich and fertile woods and fields, as well as meeting some of the extraordinary countryfolk of Le Marche – a people who more or less live for food. Rounding up the ingredients will take Tam and Lia beyond the ancient pink brick walls of Sarnano to travel the region in their 4-wheel drive Fiat Panda – ubiquitous minicar of the Italian contadini.
Through the series each woman learns much from the other’s skills, but there are some disasters (and much laughter) along the way. Cookucina is about learning through enjoyment – love of food, love of language, and love of this exquisite corner of Italy. It’s about simple food, beautifully made.