I’m so glad you’re here, and I’m honored to share a little bit about myself with you:
I’m an identical twin and one of eight siblings. I didn’t go to culinary school, but was trained by someone just as good, my Italian mother, who raised me speaking Italian and often took our lessons into the garden. Our roots heavily influenced my cooking: fresh, simple, seasonal. I take this philosophy with me everywhere, especially around the campfire.
My husband and I cofounded Firelight Camps, a glamping destination in Ithaca, New York, where I’ve been able to weave my experience as a self-taught chef and cooking instructor, food blogger, and backcountry guide under one tent. I’m thrilled to have just published my first cookbook with Ten Speed Press / Penguin Random House, Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins and The Great Outdoors!
I competed as a top finalist on Food Network Star season 10 and opened my first hotel and restaurant in Nicaragua—La Buena Onda—with my husband, Bobby. Prior, I worked in the U.S. and abroad to help build farm-to-table food systems, including as a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador, where I became a founding member of Groundswell International.
I trained as backcountry guide at the University of Maryland, before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania to continue as a guide and receive a B.A. in Food Studies. I live in “gorges” Ithaca, New York, with my husband, Bobby, and daughter, Ayla, who’s spent some time on a trail nearly every day since she was born.
For more fun facts, check out this short interview.
And thank you again for saying hi! Truly. It means so much to me.