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Valentina Harris is the noted authority on Italian food and food culture and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Descending from the important Renaissance Sforza family, Valentina is bright, passionate, accessible and appeals to people far beyond her chosen subject. Being a prolific author as well as doing many TV appearances, she is always in demand to appear at top food events. She has given innumerable live cookery demonstrations and lectures extensively across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa. Valentina's first cookery book, Perfect Pasta, has been translated into six languages and won The Award for Literature and Gastronomy in Germany.

Seven other books followed on from the success of Perfect Pasta culminating in the BBC six-part television series - Italian Regional Cookery. Transmitted in the UK, it has since been repeated several times as well as being shown in the USA and Australasia. The book of the series became a top ten best seller. Valentina is the author of over twenty books on Italian cookery and has also contributed to The Sunday Times Cooks Companion and Insight Guide to Tuscany amongst others. Valentina is now established as a prolific writer on Italian food and cuisine and regularly features on television and radio and contributes to many leading national newspapers and magazines.

Valentina has worked as a consultant to Tesco, Waitrose and other supermarkets as well as food manufacturers such as Sacla. Her skills are also sought by food appliance companies, hotel and restaurant groups for marketing, promotions, product, recipe and menu development, through to lecturing, teaching and training. As a raconteur, Valentina has an ability to put across her deep knowledge of Italian food culture and history in a most entertaining and accessible way which makes her in demand as an after dinner speaker as well as making her demonstrations uniquely fulfilling for those taking part.

Valentina regularly caters for prestigious events as diverse as a party for 2,500 guests at Alexandra Palace through to a very special dinner for two. She has also cooked dinner parties for charity events, "selling" her skills to the highest bidder!

Her books include:

  • Perfect Pasta
  • Regional Italian Cookery
  • Edible Italy: A Travellers Guide
  • Southern Italian Cooking
  • Recipes from an Italian Farmhouse
  • Valentina's Regional Italian Cookery
  • Valentina's Italian Family Feasts
  • The Cooking of Tuscany
  • Valentina's Complete Italian Cookery Course
  • Instant Italian
  • Southern Italian Cooking
  • Simply Italian
  • Valentina Harris Cooks Italian
  • What Pasta?
  • Which Sauce?
  • Risotto! Risotto!
  • Italia! Italia!
  • Valentina's 4 Season Cook Book
  • and new books commissioned are:
  • 100 Great Risottos
  • Al Fresco Cooking
  • Recipes from Villa Valentina

Valentina's many UK television appearances include:

  • Team Captain on BBC 1 Eat your Words
  • School Dinners
  • Open House
  • Classic Dishes
  • Carlton Food Network
  • Through The Keyhole
  • Food and Drink
  • Who'll do the Pudding
  • This Morning
  • The Heat is On
  • Esther!
  • Surprise Surprise
  • The Andrew Neil Show
  • Ready, Steady, Cook!
  • Valentina's Italian Regional Cookery
  • Masterchef
  • Health UK
  • Good Morning with Anne and Nick
  • GM TV
  • Summer Scene
  • The Fish Course
  • Bazaar
  • Open Air

Her radio credits include:

  • BBC National Radio Stations 2, 4 and 5 Food Programmes
  • Veg Talk
  • Classic FM: Question of Taste
  • LBC
  • Talk Radio
  • Radio Wales


  • Many local stations in all key towns / cities on both North and South Islands.

South Africa:

  • Various broadcasts on both National and local radio for the Gourmet Food Festival in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Journalistic Contributions:

  • The London Evening Standard
  • The Times
  • Sunday Times Magazine
  • The Mail on Sunday You Magazine
  • Sainsburys Masterclass Cook Book
  • Homes & Gardens
  • Woman & Home
  • Essentials
  • House of Fraser
  • Bella
  • Options
  • Family Circle
  • Insight Guide to Tuscany
  • Decanter Magazine
  • BBC Good Food Magazine
  • BBC Good Food Vegetarian Magazine
  • Radio Times
  • Taste
  • A la Carte

Villa ValentinaNominations:

  • Best Cookery Series - BBC 2's Italian Regional Cookery, Glenfiddich Awards
  • Best International Food Book - Recipes from an Italian Farmhouse.
  • James Beard Awards, New York 1991.
  • Best Cookery Book - Risotto !Risotto!, Andre Simon Awards 1998

Valentina's ambitions are "to return home to Tuscany semi-permanently with my sons to run Villa Valentina, the ultimate Italian Cookery School and centre of excellence, where I will celebrate the food, wines and other related aspects of Italy. To learn to ride again and also to learn to truly appreciate the richness of Italy's artworks. Eventually, to produce Valentina Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Valentina Estate Wine. Finally, to write a best selling autobiography and to continue to indulge myself in writing books which are not about food!"

Valentina manages her own production company; Edible Creativity, which specialises exclusively in the production of food and beverage marketing events - whether it be the launch of a new product, a demonstration, an exhibition or gala award ceremony.

This biography has been published with the kind permission of Celebrity Chefs UK.

Celebrity Chefs UK is, as the name suggests, a UK based company and is the country’s only agency specialising exclusively in the representation of celebrity chefs. They are able to provide you with a celebrity chef for any event. For further information and to see details of some of the other chefs visit the web site <click here>

For further information contact:

Rosemary Melbourne
Celebrity Chefs UK
Telephone: 01270 884544 / 0789 968 3180