I was born in Seravezza and lived in Forte dei Marmi in the province of Lucca until the age of ten when my family set out to bring the flavors of our home to Los Angeles. While I consider LA home, my key influences come from my experiences and the vibrancy of my childhood.
I have to thank my mother Roberta and both of my grandmothers, Cesarina and Ida, for giving me a gift that few people have received, which was allowing me to watch and participate while they cooked for our family and friends. Food and community are two concepts that are inextricably linked in Italian culture. We cook to express love and count sitting down together to share food as one of our most beloved privileges. Everyday, my mother and I would go to the open market just down the street to shop for the lunch and dinner that she would later prepare. When it was warm enough, we would take our bikes and on the way we would pass the tiny panifico on the corner of Via Piave where you could smell the baking flour and yeast long before getting there. We would always stop and buy bread – and if I was extremely lucky – I would get a small piece of focaccia to eat right there. At the open market, we would buy the fruits and vegetables that were in season. And because our town was right on the coast there was always an abundance of fish to pick from.