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 experimental archaeologist and food-writer whose research centers on food, food preparation, and food-related ceramics in the Roman Mediterranean.
Educated at the University of Leicester in Britain, she 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.
Farrell is well known for her experimental archaeology projects where she painstakingly recreates Roman recipes using instruction and ingredients sourced from the archaeological, written and pictorial records. Her experiments and recreations are published here on Tavola Mediterranea, on Atlas Obscura, and have been featured prominently by The Atlantic, Atlas Obscura, SAPIENS Magazine, the BBC, The Guardian, The Economist, and The Ancient History Encyclopedia.
In 2018, 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 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 2019, Farrell Monaco was awarded the John Wacher Dissertation Prize in Roman Studies by The University of Leicester, and the Best Special Interest Food Blog Award by Saveur Magazine.
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.
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