Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Meet Your Tour Guide Maria

My name is Maria Reina and I am pleased to offer The Italian Culinary Academy an insider’s perspective on life in the Italian Culinary Experience program. In the following Travelogue installments I will share with you my time at ALMA, in Colorno, Emilia Romagna; and also the time I spent on my stagista in Rivisondoli, Abruzzo.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and was exposed at a young age to Greek cuisine by my Mother, Grandmother and Aunt. Early in my adult life I worked in Retail Management, which later evolved into a career in Human Resources. Last year, with the support of my husband, I decided to make a major life and career change, from being a Human Resource executive, to a chef. One of my passions throughout my life has been cooking. I have always enjoyed cooking for family and friends, even from a young age. After I met, and later married my husband, I began to really appreciate Italian cuisine. Spending time in Abruzzo was that much more special, because his maternal family comes from a small town near Aquila.

I returned to New York in late March, to graduate at the beginning of April. After graduation I am going to embark on starting my own business - creating private Italian dinner parties in homes, and producing my own line of pre-made soups and pastas. I currently live in Port Chester, NY with my husband Larry, and step-daughter Elinor.

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