News & Events

From Scratch – A memoir of love, Sicily and finding home

Date 05.20.2019

Fondazione Italia is proud to support “From Scratch” written by one of our wonderful parents, Tembi Locke, whose daughter has been learning Italian with us for the past several years. We miss Saro very much and applaud Tembi for letting us take a peak inside her amazing journey of love and loss.

From Scratch is a poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hour.

Cooking and eating Sicilian food together was one of the great joys actress Tembi Locke shared with her beloved husband Saro, a professional Italian chef. Twenty years prior, when she bumped into him on a street in Florence, she had no idea that he would become the love of her life and that they would build a fairy tale life together in Los Angeles with an adopted daughter they adored. And she never imagined that after his diagnosis of a rare form of cancer and a decade of care taking, she would eventually lose him and have to start over from scratch. 

Shattered, but determined to honor the memory of her husband, build a new life for their daughter Zoela, and strengthen their relationship with his family, she returned to his hometown on the island of Sicily and chronicle the three summers Tembi and Zoela spent there bonding with Saro’s mother in a tiny hamlet of farmers.

Once estranged from Saro’s parents because they refused to accept that he was marrying a black American, Tembi discovered solace and nourishment, the healing gifts of simple fresh food, the embrace of a close-knit community, and the wisdom to light a path forward in the warm and welcoming kitchen of her mother-in-law.