Farrell Monaco and Raffaele Cirillo of Tavola Mediterranea bring the archeology, imagery, customs, and flavours of Ancient Rome to the modern table via publishing, public education, immersive experiences and culinary master class events in Italy, the UK and the USA.
Farrell Monaco – Owner and Editor-in-Chief
Farrell Monaco is an award-winning Classical archaeologist, baker, and food-writer whose research centers on food, food preparation, and bread and pastry in the Roman Mediterranean. She holds a BA (hons) and MA (hons) from the University of Leicester in Britain. Farrell has worked as a team-member on Roman food archaeology projects at Monte Testaccio (Rome, Italy) with CEIPAC (University of Barcelona); The Pompeii Food & Drink Project (Pompeii, Italy) with an American university consortium; and Investigating the Archaeology of Death at Porta Sarno Necropolis (Pompeii, Italy) with Universidad Europea de Valencia.
Outside of her academic foci at the University of Leicester, Farrell is known for her public education work and experimental archaeology projects where she recreates Roman recipes using instruction and ingredients sourced from the archaeological, written and pictorial records. She writes regularly on the role of food and food preparation in Roman daily life on her site, Tavola Mediterranea, and publishes in both English and Italian. Farrell has written exclusively for Atlas Obscura and her work has been featured prominently by National Geographic, Popular Science, Esquire Magazine (Italy), Men’s Health Magazine (Spain), The Atlantic, Atlas Obscura, SAPIENS Magazine, the BBC, The Guardian, The Economist, Milk Street, Dissapore Magazine (Italy), Fox LA, The Ancient History Encyclopedia. In November of 2020, Farrell co-produced, wrote and presented a video on the history of the date palm fruit with The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, USA.
In 2019, Farrell launched ‘The Old School Kitchen’, a public education programme that continues the immersive process of exploring food history through lectures and hands-on ‘edible archaeology’ workshops for participants in public and educational settings. Recent bookings and co-productions include NYU London (UK), Fishbourne Palace (UK), University of Southern California (USA), Eataly Los Angeles (USA), The Italian Chamber of Commerce – West (USA), The University of Leicester (UK), Roman Leicester, The State University of New York (USA), The Rivers School (USA), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), The Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, TX), The Walters Museum (Baltimore, MD), Castello di Potentino (Seggiano, IT), Spazio Sinopie (Rome, IT), Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze (Florence, IT), Museo Civico Archeologico d’Anzio (Anzio, IT), and Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, IE), and The Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA). In 2021, she was featured as a key food industry innovator in the Atlas Obscura series: Sparked.
Farrell is the recipient of the John Wacher Dissertation Prize in Roman Studies by The University of Leicester (2019), and the Best Special Interest Food Blog Award by Saveur Magazine (2019), and the Vaughn Prize for Community Engagement and Outreach from the University of Leicester (2021).
Farrell is currently awaiting publication of her first book chapter in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Experimental Approaches to Roman Archaeology. In March of 2022, she joined the ranks of Buddy Valastro, Tartine, and Nancy Silverton by launching her own online bakery – Pistrinum by Tavola Mediterranea – in partnership with Goldbelly, Inc. All proceeds from the recreated Panis Quadratus loaves are donated directly to Forum dei Giovani, a youth charity association in Pompei, Italy.
Farrell currently sits on the Media Relations Committee of the Society for American Archaeology and is an active member of EXARC, a global organization of experimental archaeologists. She resides in Malibu, California with her husband and 2 dogs. In her free time, she bakes bread in her wood-fired ceramic oven and is building a Pompeian kitchen on her property. Her efforts to install a donkey-powered rotary grain-mill remain fruitless but she will continue to try to find inroads.
Raffaele Cirillo – Editor, Business Relations (Italy)
A long-time resident of Scafati (Campania), Raffaele Cirillo is a beloved fixture in his community and at the archaeological site of Pompeii. Having worked for 2 years as director of the publishing house Edizioni Flavius, Raffaele has been an integral player in publishing books related to the archaeology of Pompeii and the surrounding Bay of Naples area. In 2015, Raffaele began working as a project manager for various archaeological projects in Pompeii and Rome. In 2018, he and Farrell met while working together on a dig at Pompeii and it was there, among the ruins and stray dogs, that through their mutual love of archaeology, food, and animals, they formed a sibling-like bond and a desire to work together on future projects.
In addition to his work with Farrell, Raffaele’s other projects involve writing for Il Gazzettino Vesuviano covering the ancient and modern cultural heritage of the Vesuvian people and territories. A naturalist at heart, Raffaele finds beauty in animals, nature and plants. In his spare time, he also volunteers in hospitals and retirement homes serving the communities of Pompei and Scafati.
Italian event booking inquiries can be directed to: [email protected]
American and UK event booking inquiries can be directed to: [email protected]
Press, media and interview requests can be directed to: [email protected]