A lot of people ask me about the origin of the Cambooza name… well, its origin is somewhat autobiographical and can be traced back to my early childhood.
Cambooza, in its Italian pronunciation “cambusa”, means galley (also called caboose).
I grew up in a working class family. Both my mom and dad made a lot of sacrifices to be successful at their job but, at the same time, held the family together and would always be there for me and my brother. Cooking was not a top priority, especially when they came home late in the evening.
So at dinner time there usually wasn’t much going on in the kitchen: no pot roast baking in the oven, no happy boiling pans on the stove. We lived in the deep countryside and hitting a supermarket was not an easy option, so we had to come up with something, right there and then.
To make things entertaining and adventurous for me and my brother (we were always playing some form of pilots, or marines on a mission), my dad used to say:
“Guys, we’re on survival mode, let’s see what’s in the galley!”
And he always managed to make something up with the ingredients we had. There were some odd sounding combinations, but always delicious and fun.
That stayed with me ever since… I still pick random things from the pantry or the fridge and come up with a new recipe, and you know what? It may not be “haute cuisine” but it always puts a smile on my face.