My brother (left) and me in Switzwerland

Me at the top of Europe’s highest bell tower

Ben Gusto – Similar to the words “buon gusto” in italian, meaning “good taste.” 

I’m Ben Gaiarin. An American-Italian. A 16-year-old living in many places at once, mostly in Italia. I tend to go back and forth between a vineyard estate in the region of Piemonte, Italy, and a house in the suburbs of northern Virginia. It’s funny, I’m never quite sure where I’ll be living next year. When I’m in the country of cibo (food), sometimes I’ll make a pit stop in Liguria, Italy, to see my nonni (Italian grandparents) and breathe the mountain air. While enjoying Nonna’s (Grandma) pastas and meats that are to die for.

My dad is an importer of fine international wines. My mom is a painter. Along with running a wine distributorship, we also produce a few wines from our small vineyard in Piemonte. The business keeps us traveling Europe, experiencing cuisine at its best, and enjoying what each culture has to offer. So my brother, a jolly lad that is two years older than me, and I are well traveled young adults. And along with each new experience, my gusto takes another step forward.

Ever since I was little I had a passion for the kitchen. When I was a toddler, I enjoyed serving plastic meals from a “fisher-price” kitchen set. Then I started to bake. Baking was a good way to start out because if you mess up a dessert, you don’t have a table of hungry stomachs telling you off. I cooked my first full meal around the age of 9, serving a dinner for seven family members. From that plate of beef, I took off from there. Little by little, I’ve been learning a valuable skill in the kitchen from my parents, my nonna, and a handful of cookbooks. Nowadays, my recipes tend to come from my house, or inspired by a cookbook. I’d like to avoid posting recipes that are completely from someone else I don’t know.

The view from our vineyard in Piemonte, Italy

Cooking is only one passion. I’m also always focused on my sport, football (or as some call it soccer), along with the normal social business, traveling, a little skiing and golfing, and schoolwork.

I’ve realized I’m not the average kid. At times I live on a vineyard in Piemonte, a house in northern Virginia, in a Ligurian mountain village, or even this past year I stayed for 6 months in the historical center of Turin. After a while, the amount of odd stories I encounter start to rack up. So do the recipes as I learn to cook the italian way, and experiment with many different ingredients. And so, my idea for this blog was to show what it’s like to be a 16-year-old learning the ways of the forchetta in, and around, Italy’s best regions for gusto.

22 responses on “About

  1. He love. I miss you so much.i had a rough summer but all I know is that it’s life. I adore you so much.

  2. Ben we are good friends I’m so happy a that I gave you a valintines card I seriously want to spend more time with you so we can discuss some things and I want to marry your food because its so good!!!

  3. Hi Ben, finally i have the time to enter in your blog and i find it fantastic, really inspiring, continue like this! I love to travel and to cook so we ve something together! Big kiss from Spain for your parents and your brother and really nice to meet you in Austria!

    • Very good to hear from you, Ursula! I am so pleased you enjoy the site. The entire Gaiarin and “Gusto” family sends their best wishes! Hopefully we will meet again in Austria next year.

    • Dear Ben thanks for giving me your email address! I miss you a lot. I look forward to all the cooking classes and best buddies events. I look forward to seeing you at school every day. Love Halle.

  4. Ciao Ben, cosa ne dici di scrivere gli ingredienti anche in italiano ? Dai Ben puoi faccela, io impazzisco a cercare di tradurre !!

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  6. Bravo Ben! I really like what you’re doing. We have an 11 y/o that travels with us in Italy and likes to eat and cook and a 16 y/o Milanese cousin studying cooking in school. I’ll let them both know about you.

  7. Hey Ben, saw your project at the fair tonight and I was really impressed with it. Looks pretty professional, just gotta get those business cards!

  8. Wow, Ben, very impressive! I do not know of many guys or gals your age that can produce not only a pleasant looking blog, but communicate knowledgeably through it as well. Keep it up! ~Ruth

  9. If you were a couple years older I’d have a serious crush-thing going on — totally not weird, I promise. I cannot tell you how jealous I am of how much traveling you’ve done in your lifetime… it seems pretty unparalleled by most. I spent last summer in Assisi and I totally fell in love with the food, the culture, the rolling hills, the wine (oh, the wine)…

    You’ve got quite a gift at such a young age and considering your talent and my wee little crush, I’ll definitely be visiting here frequently (now don’t get your panties in a twist).

    • Haha, I’ll take that as a compliment then. So you enjoyed Assisi then? It seems like every region of Italy has it’s own set of characteristics to enjoy because each one is so unique. I still haven’t been to Umbria. If the wine is good, then my father probably knows wine producers there. (he’s a wine distributor)

      Thanks for the support! Your blog looks great by the way! I’ll be trying the ice cream recipe when I return to America (my gelato machine is there).

Comments are wonderful!