I'm Paola Maggiulli Italian food expert & self care cookery teacher
Ciao! Born and bred Londoner, I’m very proud of my Italian/Colombian heritage that influences my work and brand on a daily.
Ever since I was a little girl, Italian food has always been a part of my life. From annual summer holidays to Puglia which is where my Pops is from to working in the family run deli for nearly 20 years.
Cooking changed my life
It can change yours
Many assume that my love for Italian cooking was driven by my heritage. However, it all started when my dad decided to sell the south London family Italian deli, Salumeria Napoli, which he had run for nearly 20 years.
I had no interest in working in the world of food growing up. Instead I began a 15-year stressful career in fashion. However, during that time, I was hiding the fact that I was dealing with depression and anxiety, after a very traumatic emotional relationship, that left me mentally broken and insecure. Throwing myself into my work was my only option. I was eating badly and making poor life choices as being successful in my job was all that mattered to me. No one had a clue.
Then when my dad announced the closure, I had this knee jerk reaction to cling on to my Italian heritage. I had already lost so my much of myself. I didn’t want to lose anything else.
Looking back, both my brother and I would begrudgingly work on weekends and the holidays. While our friends were hanging out, we were getting shown how to slice parma ham perfectly or how to wrap a chunk of parmesan.
It’s only looking back at those times that I’ve realised that it influenced and drove my new found obsession with Italian cooking.
GET TO KNOW ME
When my dad sold the deli, only then did I realise the void we were going to have in our lives. No longer could we get free parma ham, pesto, olives, cheese, pasta etc. Why had I taken it for granted?! I was going to have to go elsewhere to stock up my cupboards and fridge. It was a shock to the system and it was then that I realised that I couldn’t walk away from my Italian food roots. For the first time in a while, I decided to do something for myself and embraced everything I could to learn about it.
I started by teaching myself my favourite recipes that I had enjoyed many a time on our annual family Italian holidays in Puglia. I held myself accountable by uploading them to a blog, that I thought no one would ever read. At the same time, I started a mini Italian food stall in ode to the deli, which is where the name Tiny Italian came from.
Overtime, I started to notice a change. I was feeling more confident, happier and it was due to making better food choices. Rather than relying on take-aways and a pint after work, I was eating my way back to happiness with EASY, SEXY, HEALTHY meals that were fuelling my body, mind and soul with goodness. I was creating food that I absolutely loved to eat and was making me happy. I use to ask myself, ‘why hadn’t I cooked more before?’. However, I clearly remember believing that good cooking was only for experts and that good cooking couldn’t come easy to someone like me. I soon realised how wrong I was.
My new found love for cooking made me feel confident enough to regularly see and invite friends over for dinner which also positively contributed to my mindset. Being with people you love is so important to daily wellness and this was what my Italian culture had shown me for years, but only now I understood the importance. Plus, cooking was a great distraction to the daily struggles. It was my time, time to relax, enjoy, switch on the radio and cook to my favourite tunes.
In 2018 I decided to leave the stressful corporate world of fashion, sharpen up my culinary skills at Leiths cooking school of food and wine, and I travelled all over Italy to learn about all the amazing regional recipes and food culture.
Today the Tiny Italian is not only about sharing EASY, SEXY, DELICIOUS Italian recipes, but I’m here to help those who think they can’t cook, find it difficult or boring to create a a more positive mindset with fun stress-free self care cook longs that you can join me virtually and in real life. I want to help you make a small change in your your life where I help you LEARN TO LOVE TO COOK so you can also reap the rewards of home cooking and feel better for it.
Italian Cooking Experiences
Cook Along With Me
A newsletter to help transform your cooking mindset and relationship (the Italian way),
to motivate and inspire you with your self care cooking journey
A wellness cooking class not only involves learning to create delicious food alongside your work pals virtually but also incorporates fun mindful moments.
A cooking course to get you cooking delicious food by mastering 6 beginner-friendly key techniques so you can confidently whip up a variety of meals using everyday ingredients.
A monthly membership – a fun supportive accountability community to support your new found love for cooking
LEARN TO LOVE TO COOK