Marilù Terrasi, “owner and chef” of “Pocho” hotel and restaurant, was born in Palermo, where she graduated from the University of Palermo with a degree in Philosophy. Here she was for some years a researcher at the Institute of Popular Traditions in the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy and dedicated herself to the study of various aspects of Sicilian popular culture: its art, music, songs, customs, traditions and cuisine. In those years she was also part of the Folkstudio, that within the same Institute was dedicated to the study and re-proposal of folk-song and music.
In the 70's she moved her interest to the world of theatre and joined the experimental theatrical cooperative “Gruppo 5” for several years, where she wrote numerous pieces, which included popular Sicilian songs and art. She took part as actress and singer to numerous theatrical tours around Italy and abroad. At the same time she became increasingly interested in the culinary arts. Her precious collection of Sicilian puppets, from the most illustrious families of puppeteers, with whom she often worked, was begun in those years. Today these puppets are exhibited at Pocho, along with their theatrical accessories.
In 1985 Marilù opened a small restaurant called Pocho, in Makari, a village near San Vito lo Capo (province of Trapani), named after a cat which for years was the mascot of the theatre group. Here she manages and personally attends to the cuisine, and offers an ambiance which expresses the island's culture in a variety of ways, like that of a discreet and refined hospitality, as well as attention to details.
But, also in the kitchen, she doesn't forget her old passion for research and the re-proposal of folk traditions. She learns the secrets of couscous preparation from her neighbours and writes papers about it, while engaged in preserving the art of "incocciata" (to transform semolina in small lumps) through the many culinary workshops and testing buffets she organizes. From the many years of her theatrical life comes the idea of organizing a kind of culinary tours in other Italian regions and abroad. Through culinary workshops, internships and tasting buffets at renowned gastronomic events and restaurants she actually becomes ambassadress of the couscous of the Trapani area: “hand made steam-cooked couscous of biological Sicilian grains”. During the workshops she shows the technique of couscous preparation and at the end she often entertains the participants by singing Sicilian folk songs from her repertoire, while accompanying herself on her guitar and lucanetto, a small forerunner to the accordion. In this way, the magic of theatre repeats itself in a different way. A few years later, a small hotel was added to the restaurant, a true oasis framed by the peace and quiet of the Gulf of Cofano, where Sicily shows another of its most appreciated characteristcs: that of hospitality and good life style.
During the summer season, at Pocho, Marilù has also promoted a series of events called “Food for the mind”, that include cooking books presentations, wine tasting, exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances, with the partecipation of some ONLUS and non profit associations.
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“FOR A TOO LONG TIME WE SICILIANS HAVE THOUGHT SICILY AS A POINT OF DEPARTURE. ON THE CONTRARY WE MUST REAPPROPRIATE OUR LAND....SICILY HAS A PARTICULAR MAGIC THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN....ONE MUST LIVE THERE IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN...” Carmen Consoli