Let’s meet Emmanuelle Pardini, an explorer of the flavours of Lisula & the Corsican terroir and a culinary artisan from Novella.

Welcome, Emmanuelle Pardini. You spend your time between Paris and the village of Novella, where you took over the family olive grove. What motivated you to launch these cooking workshops for children in this corner of paradise?

After my academic adventures in Paris studying cultural mediation, I felt the need to return to Corsica five years ago and start my own business. While taking the time to reflect on my future project, I explored various fields, met with restaurateurs, farmers, artisans, artists, and members of associations, all while spending time in Novella, on the family land where olive trees are planted; it’s a magical & timeless place. At the same time, I was co-designing a culinary program for a cultural centre in Paris. This was a revelation for me as it was aimed at families that are unable to go on holiday, this program came to an end with a shared, joyful, and lively banquet. I truly flourished working with families. So, I decided to recreate these moments of sharing here, in Corsica.

It seems that your passion for cooking was born in the warmth of the stoves shared by your grandmother and great-grandmother. Can you tell us more about this flavorful story?

Absolutely! My great-grandmother and grandmother were kitchen magicians. The name of my workshops, A Papina, pays tribute to my great-grandmother and her ultra-creamy corn polenta recipe with a sprinkle of grated cheese on top. Childhood memories filled with flavour that shaped my passion. They both taught me that simplicity, combined with fresh and seasonal ingredients, was the main ingredient to create magic on the plate.

What is your main intention behind these cooking workshops for the little foodies of Lisula and beyond?

I aim to pass down and sow the love of cooking and quality products. Fruits and vegetables are the heroes of my recipes, even if children are sometimes a little reluctant. However, after picking them in the Novella vegetable garden or tasting them during the workshops, magic happens. They have the choice of ingredients, the freedom to experiment with their own version of the recipe. After tasting, we take the time to discuss the recipe with kindness regarding their choices, thus sharing our experiences and discoveries.

If you had to choose just one, which local product would stand out as the star that inspires you and that you love working with in your workshops?

Olive oil, of course! The true gold of Balagne is at the heart of my culinary repertoire. Cultivated on our land, it offers an incredible range of flavours depending on the olive varieties: the sweetness of “Sabina,” harvested when ripe, the herbaceous and spicy character of “Ghjermana” or “Picciolina,” picked while still green. During the children’s workshops, we explore the different methods of cultivation and processing with a tasting of the three oils. I delve deeper into this during adult tasting sessions uncovering perfect pairings between dishes and the diverse flavours of olive oils.

Beyond cooking, what values would you like to impart to the children in your workshops?

I want to stimulate their desire to cook with fresh and local ingredients, to discover the taste of good products, and to appreciate homemade cooking. From an educational standpoint, the idea is to show them that learning can be fun, to encourage them to experiment, and to embrace mistakes as essential steps in the learning process.

And here is Emmanuelle Pardini’s recipe for culinary workshops that are as delicious as they are instructive. Find her in Novella and L’Ile-Rousse for a gastronomic journey at the heart of Lisula.