Thursday, August 14, 2008


Buon giorno tutti!

Well, I’m done! I graduated on April 4th, and what a week it was! It was great to reconnect with my classmates and my chef and language instructors in NY.

I really missed everyone – especially the Chefs! I thought it would be fun for you to see a couple of pictures from that evening.

I am also excited to share something that happened out of sending my Travelogues! The International Culinary Center (home of The Italian Culinary Academy and The French Culinary Institute) have created a blog site, that resides in the ICA website, with my Travelogues! (How cool is that??)

This week Larry and I started the process of incorporating my company – Bella Cucina Maria.

Next week I have my formal cooking debut at the New York Junior League – which I am so thrilled about! So much to think about, and do! (I wouldn’t have it any other way!)

Thank again for being a part of my cooking adventure…

ciao ciao from Chef Maria!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Epilogue - Arrivaderchi

Arrivaderci Italia!

So here I am, waiting for Larry to bring the car around to the hotel. We are just about to take off for the airport. Larry and I ended up on different flights. My frequent flyer miles are taking me through London, and he, lucky devil, is on a direct flight home! I thought this would be a perfect moment to send my final European message to you!

I am dedicating my Travelogue-Epilogue to Larry. How did I ever get so lucky? Larry came in to my life eight years ago, as I was just about to give up on finding “Mr. Right.” Most of you know the story, Victoria Freedman (our mutual friend) tried unsuccessfully for 3 months to fix us up – and then finally we both agreed. From that first date we have been inseparable.

Larry is my rock. From my happiest moments - walking down the aisle, receiving Junior League accolades or creating a perfect meal – to depths of my darkest moments thinking about our sweet Nicholas – he is there. He is always there, with a supportive word, a soft touch, or a big hug. We are so perfectly matched. (Thank you Victoria!) He is the “lid” to my “pot.” We rarely argue – when we do, it’s generally just a disagreement on how to raise Elinor – typical for parents, I think!

I told my mother a few weeks ago that this Italian adventure was the hardest thing I have ever done. Ever the pragmatist she replied, "Everyone feels that way when they are in the middle of doing something new." She reminded me that I said the same thing a few years ago while I was in the throws of Graduate school work. On this count, I probably would have to disagree. Being away from Larry’s physical presence has been very challenging for me. Oh, we figured out a way to talk almost twice a day, and send hundreds of emails and text messages … but it just wasn’t the same.

I remember one day so clearly last April, we were on the train going home and I was crying about something – unfortunately a typical occurrence at that time. Larry looked at me with such concern and said, "I'm so worried about you, I miss my happy wife." I knew at that moment I needed to do something, and quickly! When I first entertained the "go-to-Italy-and-be-a-chef" idea I think Larry thought I had completely lost my mind. (I won’t even tell you what my Mother said!) But he knew that the one thing that did make me happy (except for him, of course) was to be in a kitchen and cooking!

So the long and short of it is this – I could not have done this without him. For that, I am so very grateful he is my husband, my life-partner, my best friend… the love of my life!

Grazie mille mia amore, รจ qui alla nostra prossima avventura!
Sono il vostro sempre,

(A thousand thanks my love, here is to our next adventure!
Yours always, Maria)