After earning a Master’s Degree in Education/Administration, Pamela taught cooking and food service to students with disabilities for ten years. She took a leave of absence in 1986 to pursue a love for cooking which began with employment with one of L.A.’s finest chefs, Joachim Splichal. Over the last twenty years she has enjoyed a freelance career that has included teaching, food styling, cooking school administration, and food writing.
In 1992, Pamela and her husband, Courtney Johns, moved to Santa Barbara where she started the Cooking School at Jordano’s Marketplace. At this same time, she also began working as the representative of an Italian culinary program, and her first cookbook, Healthy Gourmet (Collins, 1994), was published and nominated for a James Beard Cookbook Award. In 1996, Pamela decided to devote herself to developing the culinary workshops in Italy and spend more time writing about food. She is now the author of fourteen cookbooks and lives in Italy, overseeing week-long culinary programs and exploring the back roads of Italian food culture.
Pamela’s wine and food workshops are in several regions of Italy: Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, and Piemonte. A regular visitor to Italy since 1983, she and her family decided to make Tuscany their permanent home in 2001. Pamela, her husband Courtney, and their daughter Alaia now live at Poggio Etrusco, a 15-acre farm near Montepulciano, 1-1/2 hours south of Florence. Their villa is divided into private apartments for the students in the culinary programs and for weeklong holiday rentals. The estate is an active oliveto with 1,250 olive trees and a garden that provides fresh, seasonal produce.
Reprinted with express permission of Pamela Sheldon Johns – Italian Food Artisans