The Unsinkable Miss Molly

This week, Miss Molly Del Monte is all over the New York press for heading up the newly renovated kitchen at Vutura , the restaurant at Williamsburg’s Rose Live Music. But we knew her back in the day. Just a couple of years ago, this blog followed Miss Molly’s zany adventures in Italy as a young cook struggling with everything from snarky kitchen politics to the quest for a well-formed strudel.

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Missives from Miss Molly: Last call at Montali

“caprese garnish” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “dami, eva e minty carrot sorbet” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “fichi ripieni con crema gorgonzola” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. In this final letter from her ever-exciting post in beautiful Umbria, Italy, Miss Molly and her motley kitchen crew once again push out plate after plate of beautiful vegetarian cuisine despite a tearful screaming match, a wild boar on the loose, a motorcycle accident and much public drunkenness.

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Missives from Miss Molly: 20 Questions & Limoncello

“bitter greens with caramelized cippolini vinaigrette and fresh figs” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “gelato in Tavernelle” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “i love this place” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. Miss Molly, a cook I worked with at Tabla in New York, sends along one of the last few postcards she’ll write from her summer-long post at the ever-so-upscale Umbrian restaurant and inn, Montali. This note finds our dear Molly winning at Alberto’s homegrown Quizbowl, reveling in kitchen-slave solidarity and falling in love with the world.

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Missives from Miss Molly: A taste of traditional Tuscany

“their view of the parade” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “man and ox” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “bigne con crema di funghi” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. Drawing near the end of Miss Molly’s cooking adventures at the highly improbable —but ever-so-upscale—Montali (a vegetarian restaurant and inn in Umbria, Italy), we watch our young heroine dine on Tuscan traditions, discover that co-worker Sara is a closet drunk and ponder the takeaways from this summer of sweat and searing stoves.

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Missives from Miss Molly: Lost in translation

“stretching the strudel dough” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “inside of my zucchini strudel” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “me and my zucchini strudel” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. In this edition of Miss Molly’s cooking adventures at Montali, a vegetarian restaurant and inn in Umbria, we find Molly making strudel, upsetting the new guy and finding messages from God in the library. Ciao! I only have 6 more days off, which means I only have six weeks left here!

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Missives from Miss Molly: High drama & lasagna

“crudite, again” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “sheep we see every day on the way to work” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “croquante” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. In our last postcard from Miss Molly (a young American cook working at a vegetarian restaurant and inn in Umbria), we vicariously experienced the World Cup win and a bit of homesickness for the food of good old NYC. This latest post finds Miss Molly rejoicing at the loss of her nasty roommate, getting some praise from the chef and taunting us with promises of “the best lasagna you will ever eat in your life, period.

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Missives from Miss Molly: Dreams of pulled pork

“Mine’s better.” From the thisismolly photostream at flickr. When last we left Miss Molly (a young American cook working at a vegetarian restaurant and inn in Umbria) she was stepping out for cured meats and finding little love for the flow-busting siesta. In this edition, we find Miss Molly experiencing a not-so-pleasant roomie, an expat Fourth of July and the Italian World Cup victory. Ciao, My favorite Americans! Finally got into the swing of things and made nice with Josh, the other American.

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Missives from Miss Molly: Siestas and Salty Snacks

pancetta e pecorino from thisismolly on Flickr. More from Miss Molly, a young American cook working at a vegetarian restaurant and inn in Umbria. Today: cloned cookies, cured meats and the siesta report. Last week I ate meat for the first time since I’ve been in Umbria…. check my photos out. I had this crostini with pancetta and pecorino…. I’m not sure if it was really good or if I was starving for protein, but it was amazing.

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Missives from Miss Molly: Hot Kitchen, Hard Times

mmmmm… fresh food! from this is molly at flickr. The latest from Miss Molly’s cooking adventures at Montali, a vegetarian restaurant and inn in Umbria. Today: Molly feels the heat and has an ABC After School Special moment. I feel like I am working at one of those places that you read about in those books they tell you to read in culinary school, (save the Michelin star). You know which books I’m talking about… The ones where the 12-year-old apprentice works his ass off for some temperamental European chef for 10 years and then moves to America and opens up a four star restaurant.

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Missives from Miss Molly: The Daily (Espresso) Grind

“Cappuccino di Aspargi: Chopped asparagus stems that were sautéed with shallot, a surprisingly yummy veg stock and tips that were halved and sauteed in butter. The top is plain whipped cream." from thisismolly at Flickr. Welcome to the second edition of Miss Molly’s cooking adventures at Montali, a vegetarian restaurant and inn in Umbria. Today: cappuccino, warm panini with buffalo butter and Mexican Death Oil… My day: 8 a.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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