The brilliant Jenny at De Arte Coquinaria (check out the lovely new look of her blog) has tagged me for the "10 Things About Me" MEME. Wow. So you want to know 10 interesting things about me … well … I’m not sure I’m all that interesting, but I’ll give it a try. Here goes:

  1. When I was born (early 70s), my parents wanted to call me Tania. However, that name was taken by another family member who had recently given birth to a girl. The next name on the list was Anastasia, but my mom vetoed that one. So the third name on the list was Yvonne, which was inspired by a French actress (not sure which one) that my father and mother admired (I’m guessing it was more my father’s admiration than my mother’s). There was one minor problem. The Italian alphabet does not include the letter "Y". The sound made by the letter "Y" is made by the letter "I", hence, the spelling of my name … Ivonne
  2. I took my first steps in a shoe store. How fitting!
  3. I finally learned how to swim two years ago at the age of 30! I am now a reasonably capable swimmer, although I’m sure I will never be asked to try out for Canada’s synchronized swimming team. I’m just a tad too clumsy for that!
  4. The very first thing I baked on my own was a chocolate cake.
  5. In September 2003, I slept in the doorway of a fancy boutique, not far from the Spanish Steps in Rome, in the rain during a city-wide blackout. I was with my brother and my cousin. We were in Rome for about a week and on that particular night, we joined hundreds of thousands of people for a celebration of "La Notte Bianca" (the White Night). La Notte Bianca is an incredible event where, for an entire 24-hour period, a city stays completely open. Stores, restaurants, museums … they’re all open! And the city entertains its guests with all sorts of special presentations and shows. It was an amazing nigh! We watched clips of the movie La Dolce Vita broadcast onto the Trevi Fountain and we sipped espresso just feet away from the Pantheon. And then came the rain. And then came the blackout. The subways shut down and there was not a taxi cab to be found anywhere! So we, along with thousands of people, settled in wherever we could find a spot. The night was long, wet and unusually cold, but also exhilarating — it is without question one of my most treasured memories.
  6. My family owns a shoe factory called Mellow Walk Footwear Inc.
  7. I was class valedictorian in elementary school and high school.
  8. In one of my first job interviews after university (I was interviewing for the position of copy editor at a well-known publishing firm that shall remain nameless), I was asked to identify three personal qualities that I needed to work on. I came up with two and then immediately suffered a brain cramp and blurted out the following, "Sometimes, I have trouble paying attention." A quality that I’m sure publishers everywhere are looking for in their copy editors! Needless to say I did not get the job!
  9. This past summer, I fulfilled two food dreams by eating at The Zuni Cafe in San Francisco and Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA (will post about these events at length at a later date).
  10. This is what I looked like at the age of 15 months. While I could have removed the red eye, I chose to keep it as I feel it accurately sums up my rabid support for the Toronto Maple Leafs (although the support has waned somewhat after the recent NHL lockout). I’m glad to say that the menacing hockey stick has now been replaced by a not-so-menacing whisk!


I am now tagging Isabella di Pesto of The Hungry Blogger!