Anna Tasca Lanza was the first of four children (born Tasca, married to a Lanza) and has always lived in Palermo. At 15 she was sent to L’Ecole Ménagère de Lausanne Briamond, where she learned some notions of French cuisine and, basically, how to be a good wife. After marrying and raising Fabrizia, Anna took up the project of breathing new life into Case Vecchie, a 19th century rural villa on her family estate, Tasca d’Almerita, well renowned for its wines. So began the Cooking School, with the aim to introduce Sicilian homecooking to foreigners. Within a few years Anna knew and worked with stars of international cuisine, such as Julia Child, James Beard, Alice Waters, Carol Field, Robert Mondavi, and the Coppolas. Anna went on to publish two books in America, The Heart of Sicily and Flavours of Sicily.
Born in Palermo in 1961, Fabrizia grew up being part of the renowned Tasca family of vignerons which meant immersion into the food and wine world from birth. From the age of 18, Fabrizia flew north, spending time in France and Italy to experience other worlds and to study. With a degree in Art History, she worked for 25 years in museums and as an art curator, ultimately directing two museums in Feltre. In 2006, at the age of 45, Fabrizia decided to join her mother Anna’s venture and return to Sicily. Not only would she be closer to her family and reconnect with Sicilian food and its environment, but her skills and creativity would flourish.
Anna passed away in 2010, but Fabrizia is devoted to making sure her spirit and principles live on through the celebration of Sicilian cuisine and culture at Case Vecchie. As the Sicilian culinary lineage continues to evolve, Fabrizia works to document and preserve time-honoured recipes and techniques so they are not forgotten. She travels regularly to the United States of America promoting Sicilian food, and has been published two books: Olive, A Global History published in 2011 and Coming Home to Sicily in 2014. Fabrizia also promotes Sicilian food practices and traditions through video documentation. Amuri: The Sacred Flavors of Sicily is a 37 minute documentary that explores Sicilian food histories in danger of extinction. Although Fabrizia has moved out of the kitchen at Case Vecchie to make space for her talented team of chefs, she is often found around the table or in the garden.