New York artists, Maddine Insalaco and Joe Vinson, are risk taking urbaneers who moved to Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the mid 1990’s when the neighborhood showed none of the promise of the hipster Mecca that it has become today. Since then the couple have created a dream existence between their Manhattan loft, Brooklyn painting studio and home in Italy. A new migratory species, Maddine and Joe leave New York every spring for six months for Tuscany where they have run Etruscan Places, a landscape painting school since 1995.
In 2002 they discovered to their delight that they had moved into the white truffle capital of central Italy. The proximity of the outstanding wines of Montalcino plus widespread artisanal production of olive oil, cheese, meats, etc. inspired Maddine to create Tuscan Epicure in 2004 (www.tuscanepicure.com). During the area’s annual white truffle festival the couple organize week long gastronomic tours featuring sommelier guided wine tastings, visits to boutique producers, truffle hunting, specialized dining, and cooking classes.
Between the “plein air” painting and gastronomic classes, Maddine and Joe have been serving meals containing the highest quality inputs for over 20 years. This comes on top of an uninterrupted period of 10 years during which Maddine resided in Rome and learned to cook like a native thanks to her network of Italian friends and family. Maddine is half Italian. Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 20th century. Great food was part of her life from the beginning.
Maddine and Joe have invented a life that is an inspiration to others and are happy to share their positive, creative energy at their table.