The Better Podcast

A podcast inspiring us to be and do better.
Conversations that help us individually - and collectively - develop healthier relationships with our mind, our craft and the world.

October 21, 2021 | Episode 5

Joe Towne with Pamela Sheldon Johns

On the Joy in Small Pleasures
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About This Episode

Joe chats with award winning author, chef and travel guide Pamela Sheldon Johns about her journey through kitchens and vineyards from Southern California to Tuscany. She shares what she learned from adventures working alongside Wolfgang Puck, cooking Italian Food for Julia Childs and being cooked for in the Italian countryside soaking in it’s rich history. We go on to explore what Italian Grandmothers, and artisanal food producers can teach us about our own relationships to food and very real conversations about the impact that both Climate Change and a Global Pandemic are having on the foods we have come to love. Ultimately, they talk about how food can become a celebration of life itself, the things we can all do to become more mindful travelers and why things just taste better when you are on Italian Soil.

About Pamela Sheldon Johns

Pamela’s background includes a Master’s Degree in Education/Administration from the University of San Francicso and a 30-year career that has included teaching, food styling, catering, cooking school administration, and food writing. After ten years working with disabled high school students (teaching them to cook and work in food service jobs), she moved into the world of fine cuisine, first with Chef Joachim Splichal and later managing Ma Cuisine, the Cooking School of Ma Maison in Los Angeles.  In 1992, she started her own cooking school at Jordano’s Marketplace in Santa Barbara, bringing in local and international food authorities or classes and events. At the same time, also began working as the representative of an Italian culinary program (at Tenuta di Capezzana, and later Cantina Avignonesi), traveling to Italy two or three times a year, for two to three months at a time.

While in California, she was nominated to be a lifetime member of Slow Food and started the first convivium in Santa Barbara. She was the leader of the American Institute of Wine & Food at the local level and on the international board for several years. She was the Food Editor of Santa Barbara Magazine and a columnist for the Santa Barbara News-Press, and had a program on KEYT (ABC affiliate) and a radio show on KCBX (NPR affiliate). 

In 1996 Pamela created Italian Food Artisans, her culinary travel business. Pamela holds wine and food workshops in several regions of Italy: Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Liguria, Sicily, Puglia and Basilicata, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sardegna, Marche, and Piemonte. 

A dual citizen in the US and Italy,  Pamela lives full-time with her familly at her organic farm, Poggio Etrusco, in southern Tuscany. Poggio Etrusco produces Pace da Poggio Etrusco, an excellent extra-virgin olive oil. The holiday apartments/bed & breakfast, cooking school, and tours have been touted in Bon Appetit, Travel and Leisure, Cooking Light, on CNN, Wall Street Journal, and more (some links below).  

Pamela is a certified Olive Oil Sommelier and is currently working on her AIS (wine sommelier) certification.