Custom Categories Archives: Women

Carolynn Carreño

There’s someone I want you to know. She and I share the same philosophy regarding food. We both believe food that’s good for you doesn’t need to be boring or tasteless. That food can be healthy AND satisfying. Wholesome AND tasty. She’s a flavor first kind of gal, just like me. And she’s as passionate to the point of crazy about sharing food as I am. (I think maybe she’s part Italian.)

Her name is Carolynn Carreño.


I’ve known Carolynn for decades and I’ve always admired her passion for cooking, her knowledge of all things food, and her irrepressible sense of humor. We once shared a house in the Bridge Hampton(oh if those kitchen walls could talk!) and although the past many years we’ve lived on opposite coasts, we’ve kept up a long-distance relationship by continually swapping recipes, cookbook ideas and culinary philosophies—and she never fails to add a smart twist to my stubborn Italian ways.


Carolynn’s writing, like her food, is anything but boring. She’s a James Beard award-winning writer whose essays have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Playboy, The Los Angeles Times, and The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and more. She’s also co-authored a dozen cookbooks with chefs whose names I’m sure you know, including culinary goddess Nancy Silverton, with whom Carolynn wrote The Mozza Cookbook.  As Silverton says, Carolynn is the rare combination of a home cook with a chef mentality. That means Carolynn can tell you how to put amazing things on your table without needing a sous chef, a trust fund, and someone else to do the dishes.

I just got my hands on Carolynn’s most recently published cookbook, Bowls of Plenty: Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole Grain Meals., and the book is everything I love about Carolynn in recipe form.


The book is a mix of surprising, practical, daring, casual and sophisticated. And oh yeah, everything in it just happens to be healthy. Imagine that. It goes way beyond just grains and vegetables and stretches your imagination as well as your notion of healthy. Like Rice with Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad, which is an inspired example of how to stretch a little extravagance a long way, and Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb Meatballs, which have a lovely sweet and sour thing happening and rely on rice rather than breadcrumbs as a gluten-free binder. The book is crowded with recipes simple to complex, weeknight fixes to easy and elegant entertaining, breakfast as well as dessert. I have an obsession with rice pudding and have my eye on her version made with black rice and coconut milk. Not only are the finished dishes doable and impressive, they’re gorgeous, too, thanks to inspired food styling by Susan Spungen and masterful photography by Beatriz da Costa. I’m really excited to cook from her book. You should be, too. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it if I were you. You’ll be so glad you did.

Bowls of Plenty is a testament to the fact that flavor always come first with Carolynn. Which makes perfect sense when you learn a little about her upbringing. “I grew up in the 1970s in Southern California with a pseudo-hippie mother,” says Carolynn. “She drove a van with wall-to-wall shag carpet and made macramé plant hangers in her spare time. But she didn’t do any of the dirty stuff like compost or wear Birkenstocks. She billed herself a ‘health nut’ and she wouldn’t let us eat anything white. We would sooner have found a monkey in the house than a loaf of Wonder Bread.  Instead, she stocked the pantry with Oroweat Honey Wheat Berry Bread, which was packed with chewy wheat berries and sunflower seeds (and is to this day my favorite base for avocado toast), and when my sister and I would lobby for Fruit Loops or Cap’n Crunch cereal, she would tell us, ‘You might as well eat a Hershey’s Bar for breakfast!’ Instead into the cart would go boxes of Quaker 100% Natural Granola and Kellogg’s Raisin Bran which, despite the hefty sugar content, must have made her feel better because they were in the shape of something that may have come from the earth and they were brown.” You can understand why flavor has been an obsession for Carolynn.

Contrast her health-conscious American mom with her Mexican dad, who owned a restaurant in Tijuana, and whose legacy to Carolynn was dozens of recipes from her Mexican great grandmother, and you begin to understand the gamut of Carolynn’s culinary upbringing. And, perhaps, the reason for her intrepidness.

Put simply, Carolynn possesses an ability to make everything better. I’m not the only one who thinks so. She’s worked with countless professional chefs who feel the same, including Saveur Magazine co-founder and former editor-in-chief Colman Andrews and chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York City and Waxman’s in San Francisco. They adore her. And so do I.

Bowls of Plenty: Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole Grain Meals goes on sale today on I suggest you get a copy ASAP. It might be the nicest thing you do for your-self and your taste buds this year.

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Renee Schettler

Renee Schettler. Editor in Chief at Leite’s Culinaria.

I’m such a disciple of Renee’s work. I have been following her, or some would say stalking her, for years. She is the superb editor in chief at Leite’s Culinaria, one of my very favorite food and cooking sites by the very talented David Leite.  I’m so excited to finally share with you her beautiful and elegant words, her wit, her invaluable cooking insights, and of course her divine grandma’s apple pie recipe.

Pour yourself, words straight out of her mouth, a well-deserved  glass of bubbly, curl up on the couch and enjoy all the bounty she kindly shared:

I guess you can sum what I do by saying I play with words. I’m an editor and writer and social media consultant specializing in lifestyle content. Mostly food-minded stuff. Yes, that means I get to spend a crazy amount of time flipping through cookbooks. But I actually also spend a tremendous amount of time studying readers and understanding their concerns and observing what inspires and engages them. The result is less me telling readers what’s trendy and more me sharing solutions to real-life situations that readers encounter and are frustrated by every damn day. In other words, I try to keep it real. You can see what I mean at Leite’s Culinaria where I’m editor in chief. Before that I did the same thing as an editor at Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, and The Washington Post, except now I also get to spend obscene amounts of time on Facebook and Pinterest voyeuristically observing how readers respond to various content and call it work. I’m also a holistic health coach, which, when you think about it, is basically me doing the same thing I do with words and ideas when I edit—I help something or someone become the best version of themselves, whatever shape that takes.

Follow Renee:  pinterest  twitter


A person involved with food that inspires you :

My husband. He’s inquisitive in the kitchen. Intrepid, too. The guy simply isn’t afraid to fail or to laugh at a failed attempt and he has a blast along the way. He’s inspiring to me as I sometimes—okay, a lot of times—get too wrapped up in my head and how to get something exactly perfect when it comes to cooking and I lose the loveliness of just trying something on a whim.

A secret Ingredient:

I find that there are several secrets to a memorable apple pie. Toss in half as much ground ginger as ground cinnamon when making the filling and I use turbinado sugar rather than granulate. After tossing the apple slices with sugar and spice, I let them set a spell until the apples exude their exquisite juices. Drain off the liquid and gently reduce it to a syrup before dribbling it over the apple slices you’ve piled in the pie crust. Don’t forget to splash in a judicious pour of a decent bourbon as the spiced syrup simmers. Also, there better be lard in that crust. My grandma, from whom I learned much about baking, kept her recipes secret. And I respect that. But mostly when someone asks, I tell.

 A cooking tip:

Everything tastes spectacular when you’re sipping Champagne. And let go of the notion that you need an occasion to pop open a bottle of bubbly.

Favorite Place to Eat:

I’m a sucker for simple things executed flawlessly. To me, the most perfect steak on the planet is found at Le Severo in Paris.  And while steak frites is fairly ubiquitous throughout that city, the quality is typically abysmal. When my husband and I dined at this tiny neighborhood destination, run by a former butcher, on the recommendation of Alec Lobrano, I stifled a giggle after my initial taste, it was THAT good.

Favorite Cooking Utensil:

I can’t last a day without my OXO Good Grips Flexible Spatula.  The super slender metal blade is just the right mashup of bendy and sturdy. I make a lot of crisp-skinned chicken, eggs sunny side up, seared fish fillets, and crisp roast potatoes in my kitchen, and they require just the right touch to convince them to leave the skillet. The OXO spatula has not failed me yet. I always have at least a couple within reach of the stove. Otherwise I get a little anxious.

The Ultimate Place to Shop:

Union Square Greenmarket.  It was a revelation the first time I walked among its farm stands and it remained a revelation each of the literally hundreds of times I was late to work because I took a detour to the greenmarket the way to work. In order to truly take advantage of the greenmarket, it’s best to arrive just as it opens at 8 a.m. so you can line up next to the chefs and not only observe what they’d haul away but ask them what in god’s good name are they going to do with all those fiddlehead ferns? My palate, my cooking, and my garden owe much to those chefs and farmers,  including Marco Canora who once detailed with a naughty laugh how he intended to roast Scarlet Queen turnips in duck fat and Alex Guernaschelli who patiently explained, as though she had all the time in the world,  exactly how she cooks the first ramps of the season in her cast iron skillet.

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Jana Platina Phipps

January 7, 2016 By

Jana Platina Phipps. Founder at

Jana has been a pillar of my life and I’m truly grateful to count her among my dear close friends. She continues to inspire me with her creativity and her stylish  joie de vivre. She is a trim expert but she is also a fierce cook. What makes her special in the kitchen, it’s not only her love for wholesome food, but also her trained fashionista spirit, that allows her to create incredibly elegant and chic meals.


Jana is a trimmings expert known for her refined vision for the use of embellishment in home furnishings and fashion. She began her career as an apprentice to Italian-American artisans in the garment district of NYC, translating handbag specifications from Italian to English for the likes of Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren. This lead to designing an exclusive line of accessories that sold at Bergdorf Goodman, high-end retailers across the country.

After the birth of her children, she became an independent consultant in branding, merchandising and sales representation for manufacturers, which ultimately lead to collaborating with trimmings producers worldwide. Affectionately called “Trim Queen” by her clients, she began to blog and use her social media channels to chronicle how the design community uses trimmings creatively. She has become the “ambassador of trimmings” and is a sought after speaker sharing the history of passementerie and modern embellishment trends. Most recently, she launched a tassel and trim-centric brooch collection, and continues to teach Trim-Alchemy, the concept of turning something ordinary into extraordinary with trimmings.






Read more about the Trim Queen and follow her at:


Jana Cooking Journey :

Although my heritage is Italian, my grandmother’s food originated from the American kitchen of the 1950’s. Meals consisted of lasagna with Velveeta and pesto with vegetable oil. Unthinkable now, but it’s what was readily available the time. The Italians then wanted to Americanize. It wasn’t until I started to work in Italy, at a trimmings factory outside of Torino, that I really learned to cook. The matron of the house would prepare dinner for us each night and I would shadow her. While we snacked on 18” Torinese grissini (breadsticks) with local wines, I assisted her, writing down simple recipes, like risotto. She baked her own bread, made jams, canned tomatoes. Watching Orsola cook was like watching a dancer dance when no one’s looking. All steps and timing were effortless. Her starting point was always fresh food. She would visit many purveyors to put a meal together, the baker, the butcher, and the vegetable market. She taught me how to make quince marmalade, agnolotti with butter and sage, to save a little pasta water to add back in pot before the sauce, and her risotto recipe of course. After spending many magical trips to their ‘cascina” I bought a property near Hemlock Hill Farm Now I can walk to get fresh eggs, smoked bacon and can even serve them like Orsola, in a frittata with fresh spinach and tomatoes from our garden.

Cooking Trims In The Factory :

I often feel like a chef in my design work. Yarns are like my fresh ingredients and the factory is my kitchen. There is a lot of trial and error of mixing yarns and color combinations. When I work with luxury materials, everything is optimized; the gorgeous colors and luscious textures drive the design concept. Finally, I’ll find the best loom that fits the design, whether a cord, fringe, braid or tape, and get cooking!

I love teaching people how to use trimmings to express themselves, in the ways they dress and in their home décor. Making something yourself or having something custom made with trimmings, gives you a voice, expresses your unique sensibility. Whether you are styling your Thanksgiving table with handmade passementerie napkin rings, or adorning your handbag with a silky tassel, it reflects you. Decorating is a form of self-expression, it’s therapeutic and soulful, just like cooking.

Where Does Jana Like To Eat:

MeliMelo in Greenwich CT It is a bustling creperie. The owners are French and the buckwheat crepes are topped with fresh greens, eggs, Gruyere, prosciutto, asparagus, you name it, there are endless combinations. The artichoke soup is pureed fresh and you can even detect the crushed mint leaves in their ice cream. To me, it is the essence of authentic country cooking, it begins with the ingredients. Whenever I go, I feel like I’ve taken a French vacation.

Favorite Utensil:

I cannot live without my NutriBullet. I prepare my green smoothie every morning during the manic morning dash with my kids. I also use it to whip up salad dressings and basil pesto all summer long. I add pesto to everything; it’s my go-to secret ingredient.

Favorite Place To Shop:

I travel a fair amount, for business and with family. I always venture to my new locale’s farmers market. I can gauge the culture from the farmers, purveyors and the shoppers. I love my local one in Peekskill, NY with it’s artistic flair, but my favorites have been in La Jolla, CA where I discovered cherimoyas, jicama and avocados the size of small footballs.  Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia had the most gorgeous, hearty baked goods. The rich coffee, heritage fiddler and authentic town crier, definitely added to my memory of the most sublime fruit tart I have ever tasted.

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Stephanie Zaccario

December 17, 2015 By

Staphanie Zaccario. Founder at

I met Stephanie once and I was immediately hooked. She knows a lot about pomodorini, all things Italy and most importantly she is a carnivore!
That’s my kind of gal. 

Stephanie Zaccario was born in Brussels, Belgium, lived in Europe and has traveled extensively throughout the world. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Hunter College in New York. Stephanie taught in New York City and Rye, NY before deciding to take some time off to raise her children. Inspired by the wonderful food products she encountered on a trip to Italy, she founded Artisanal Pantry in 2014. Artisanal Pantry imports some of the world’s finest specialty foods to the Unites States.

She says:

At the moment, I am completely immersed in Artisanal Pantry, the business that I founded last year. We work with Italian food artisans and import their products to the United States. I spent a year meeting these producers and curating a portfolio of their products. The reception to our line has been terrific and currently our products are available at gourmet retailers throughout CT, NY and MA.

Stephanie cooking tip:

Keep it simple. People don’t cook because they think it takes too much time, and that’s a shame. You can make something absolutely delicious in 15 minutes with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice, a zucchini and a piece of fish.

Secret Ingredient :

The Ursini Family makes wonderful flavored olive oils and using them is a great way to finish a dish. I use the lemon oil on grilled chicken or fish, or to dress a salad of arugula and fennel. The basil oil dresses a bruschetta or fresh ricotta nicely. And the spicy pepper oil is addicting on pizza or drizzled over a dish of pecorino cheese.

A night to remember :

My husband’s family is from Puglia. Savelletri, a little coastal town on the Adriatic has become my happy place. I insist we are there every year on August 15 for the celebration of the Ferragosto. It coincides with the feast of the assumption of Mary and kicks off a two week holiday period in Italy when the entire country goes on vacation.

The Masseria where we stay throws the best party you will ever attend and it is without question my favorite meal of the year. The men are making fresh mozzarella and burrata, others are manning the giant grills filled with sausages and baby octopus. The grandmothers are making orrechiete and cavatelli, and other women are frying hundreds of panzerotti. The eating and drinking goes on all night. There is live music, entertainment for the kids and fireworks. The DJ gets going around 11. Our kids stay up all night and it is the one time each year I can get my husband on the dance floor. What a night!

Favorite cooking tool:

My microplane grater is my favorite utensil. I use it for cheese, citrus zest, and chocolate. When we were in Umbria this summer, our friend Carlo taught me to grate fresh black truffle with it instead of traditionally shaving it.

 Stephanie favorite place to shop:

I’m a big carnivore so it is odd that the place I like to shop most is Randazzo’s Fish Market in the Bronx. I’m in love with the entire experience – the variety is unbelievable and the freshness is on par with catching it yourself. We take the kids early in the morning and the fishmongers let them pet the lobsters and crabs and try to scare them with the live eels. If you want your kids to eat fish, let them do the shopping!

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Carla Marina Marchese

October 5, 2015 By

Marchese HeadShot

Carla Marina Marchese. Bee Keeper and Founder of Red Bee Honey

Carla Marina Marchese lives the sweet life on her beautiful farm in Ct . She is a bee keeper, a Honey Sommelier, the founder of the American Honey Tasting Society. and an accomplished author.
I love visiting her and getting my hands sticky and my belly filled with her delicious honey.  I use her red clover honey to make my honey baked rhubarb and in my honey, citrus soaked cake.
When I asked her about her favorite meal she said:
Food is love and for me dining should be a romantic experience….I love a wide variety of Mediterranean cuisine and cooking…olives, bread, sun dried tomatoes, pecorino romano, honey with a glass of wine. Eating and preparing every meal should be an event and leisurely served in courses or small bites like tapas. Ideally served outside surrounded by a garden, vineyard or in my case an apiary.” Tray Chic Marina!

To book a visit to her Apiary, buy some her honey or get one of her books you can go to her website Red Bee Honey.

Carla Marina Marchese is the designer and beekeeper behind the beloved brand, Red Bee Honey and the co-author of The Honey Connoisseur: Selecting, Tasting, and Pairing Honey. Her best selling memoir, Honeybee Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper chronicles Marina’s entrepreneurial journey into the world beekeeping. Marchese is the only American resident to complete the training and be accepted into the L’Albo degli Esperti in Analisi Sensoriale del Miele (Italian National Registry of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey) and the founder of The American Honey Tasting Society.

Marina’s Cooking Tip:

Don’t be afraid to use honey with all food groups, it pairs fabulously with cheeses, dressing, marinades and the perfect varietal can finish off any dish.

A Bee Keeper Favorite Cooking Utensil:

Spoons! Any type because I love the action of stirring food and of course to scoop it up to taste…especially if its honey.

Favorite Meal:

The best meals are the unexpected ones, stumbling upon a random restaurant that is off the beaten path. This can easily happen in any ethnic neighborhood or traveling to a foreign country.  During the summer, my favorite place to gather food is from my garden,  I have fond memories of cooking with friends in Sardegna making Seadas with the local cheese and honey.

 How To Taste Honey  :

Since completing the sensory analysis of honey course in Bologna, I am offering my Honey Sommelier™ consulting services for chefs, restaurateurs, and food and beverage industry professionals on selecting and pairing honey. I welcome the opportunity to write tasting notes for rare, unusual harvest, both domestic and international. For those interested in tasting education, I am available to lead guided sensory courses for those who would like to train their senses to recognize aromas and flavors or defects in honey in conjunction with The American Honey Tasting Society.

 Marina’s Shopping Sweet Spot :

Any roadside stand or farmers market offering locally produced food. And of course I always shop at The Westport Farmers Market.

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Alina Lawrence

September 16, 2015 By

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Alina Lawrence. Owner of Olivette

I love Alina. I met her last year and I was immediately drown to her immense love for food and cooking. She is passionate about educating chefs, costumers and food lovers about olive oil and categorically one of the most insightful and informed women on the subject. We have collaborated on many events together and she always manage to teach me something new and dare I say also make me smile.

Alina Lawrence is an olive oil educator, speaker, consultant and owner of Olivette, a boutique olive oil tasting room in Darien, CT. Alina received her training and certification in olive oil sensory analysis from the National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) in Imperia, Italy and shares her expertise with epicureans and chefs alike in her signature tasting workshops.

Alina Lawrence provides training and consulting services to the food industry, including chefs, restaurants, cooking schools and importers. She trains food professionals to taste and evaluate olive oil, evaluates olive oil for restaurants and importers, develops olive oil tasting events and coursework, and serves on olive oil tasting and judging panels.

Alina Lawrence has developed Professional Olive Oil Tasting 101, a hands-on training course designed to teach food professionals the fundamentals of olive oil sensory analysis and empower them to make better informed purchasing decisions. Held at your place of business or at Olivette, this course teaches practical concepts and skills that can be put to use immediately.

Chefs and restaurateurs wishing to showcase premium extra virgin olive oils to their customers work with Alina to develop Single Varietal Olive Oil Tasting & Food Pairing events. Alina meets with the chef and staff for a professional development session to evaluate and select olive oils and discuss a pairing menu, then serves as chief olive oil educator at the event.

Please contact Alina at or 203-621-0643 to discuss your needs, including custom workshops and events.

Aliana’s Most Priced Utensil:

My favorite utensil is my Borner Mandoline I brought with me from Romania. I bought it back in 2000 and still works great. It’s so sharp it makes quick work of any vegetable and leaves no excuse for not making a big salad for dinner even when I don’t feel like being in the kitchen! They’re pretty readily available in the US now too.

Favorite Restaurant Le Bernardin:

I live to eat and taste, so I don’t limit myself to having just one favorite restaurant. I let the occasion, or whatever food I’m craving at the moment, dictate where I’ll be dining! But, if I have to chose one restaurant in the world that’s constantly wowed me from start to finish every time, it would have to be Le Bernardin in NYC. My short list here in Fairfield County & behond would be Kawa Ni, The Spread, le Farm, Olio, Vespa, Community Table, Winvian, and the Whelk.

Number One Brunch Spot The Spotted Pig:

Brunch is by far my favorite meal ever! I love the combination savory and sweet and taking time on the weekend to just relax and enjoy at leisure. My favorite brunch spot would have to be the Spotted Pig in the West Village. We made a habit of brunching there at least once a month when we lived in the city and anytime we had guests in town. Can you say French Toast with caramelized bananas, crème fraiche and bourbon maple syrup for dessert? Split with the table of course…

 Alina’s Olive Oil Tip:

Seek out the highest quality ingredients and buy locally whenever possible. Your dish is only as good as what goes into it, so make sure you so don’t use a rancid olive oil with your fresh local produce! And yes, you can cook with olive oil; just educate yourself on how to choose the right oil for the right occasion.

 Shopping Finds :

I was taking an olive oil tasting course last September at UC Davis and got a chance to check out the Davis Farmers’ Market. The produce was all locally grown and abundant. There was a sea of food trucks and vendors offering options to please just about every palate. It was held in the central park with a live band playing and people lounged in the grass eating delicious food or got up and danced. It was a foodie paradise and all around great experience. In CT we’re not so lucky to be able to grow crops year round like in California, but we do have many farmers’ markets with high standards and high quality produce. I enjoy shopping at the Westport Farmers’ Market every Thursday. It’s the closest market locally that captures that feel good California vibe with produce, food, music and fun.

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Terry Frishman

July 14, 2015 By

Terry Frishman. Founder of Culinest

Terry is an inspiration and a mentor. I look up to her and admire her intelligence, business acumen and absolute love for life and food. If you’re passionate about starting a food business, or need help profitably growing one – reach out to her via!  She loves helping aspiring and established food entrepreneurs successfully move forward, and making their professional dreams a reality.
You can also reach her on her  TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn feeds.

She has helped everyone from artisanal chocolatiers and jam makers, to vegan cheese and burger producers, and worked with just about every food category, including ice cream, seafood and meat to empanadas, crepes and soul food.

She is an MBA, Columbia Business School graduate, Founder, Culinest – a boutique food consultancy and educator, with over 20 years of experience helping entrepreneurs strengthen their concepts and move their businesses forward with strategic and tactical assistance. She began her food career managing a $120 million brand and launching a profitable-within-1-year $20 million product line for Kraft General Foods, Through Culinest, she takes food businesses to the next level with consulting and education. Aspiring entrepreneurs and established companies successfully launch and grow their food businesses — with her brainstorming, strategy, branding and marketing, as well as research, PR and sales.

Terry was Sarabeth’s International Sales Manager, launched all the products and recent cookbook for Sylvia’s Soul Food restaurant in Harlem, helped Crepini with their initial concept and quality focus, guided Chocolat Moderne through launch and on several occasions since then, as well as worked with Nuchas Empanadas and The Lobster Place as well as taught thousands more.

She’s in the Culinary Institute of America’s Society of Fellows, has been a repeat guest speaker on Food Network, for the Specialty Food Association and the International Restaurant Show, and regularly teach food business classes at the Institute of Culinary Education, Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health, New School University Food Studies… plus elsewhere… She was President of the Roundtable for Women in Foodservice (NY) and VP for both the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance and the International Wine & Food Society (NY).

In short she is a true gem and I’m very lucky to have met her.

Below she shares her secret ingredient and the 3 brands she has worked with and loves.

Terry’s Secret Ingredient:

I especially love how cinnamon sticks subtly enhance tomato sauces, “barking” up the flavor…My Puttanesca Pasta Sauce (vegetarian for my daughter Becca) — with freshly-sliced garlic sauteed in good olive oil, crushed San Marzano tomatoes, either chili peppers or crushed red pepper, and last-minute-added small capers and pitted Nicoise olives — wouldn’t be the same without it!

Tip 1:  Everything is better with freshly-grated aged parmesan cheese on it!

Tip 2:  Try bronze die cut pastas for that extra toothiness and sauce-gripping wow. I like Brooklyn’s Sfoglini or two Italian brands (Pastificio Faella or Pasta Martelli) imported and available through the wonderful Bronx-based importer of “Italy’s Best Foods” – Gustiamo.

Left is a photo with Gustiamo’s team in front of great graffiti – recently taken near their Bronx office!

Yu Puffs Coconut Oil and Flax Seed Yucca :

Dani and Kurt – a great husband-wife team; she’s from Brazil – make this classic Brazilian product. Plain yucca puffs are traditionally served with coffee back in Brazil; Yu Puffs takes that formula and kicks the flavors up a notch, in true American snack-food tradition. Deliciously light and crunchy, this addictive yucca-based snack is also gluten-and-dairy free. My absolute favorite? The coconut oil & flax seed flavor. Once you start, you truly cannot stop.

Sarabeth’s Orange and Apricot Marmalade:

My very first client – I’ve always loved their products. Their Orange-Apricot Marmalade is Oprah’s favorite, and mine too! It’s won many awards…. and I loved selling it when I was their International Sales Manager. Tangy, deeply-flavored and perfect on everything.

303 Salsas Piky Lux Salsa:

Mexican chef Julio Mora of Cantina Royal in Brooklyn crafts an extensive line of incredible salsas. Rather than aim for just spice, he blends complex aromas, textures and tastes that, as Julio puts it, give you a lot of “action in the mouth”. My favorite is always changing, but I’m partial to the deep red color and garlicky heat of the Piky Lux salsa.


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Lucia Hannau

June 21, 2015 By

Lucia Hannau. Founder of


Lucia is the founder of  and she is an authority in all things food in Piemonte, Italy.
I love her energy and passion for my hometown! She grew up and still lives in Turin but she studied and worked as an Italian professor in the Midwest. Savor reading some of the delicious facts she shares about herself and if you are in Turin this July come and meet her at Turin Epicurean Capital 2015, and International Food Lit Event.


A bite About Lucia:

As the daughter of an omnivore mother and a picky-eater father, it took me years to realize I am an empath in the kitchen too. Always considered too finicky,
I started cooking and baking out of the basic need of survival in the Midwest, where I just couldn’t find the foods I was craving for.  Food wise, Italy is almost too easy, but outside your home country it is hard to find the exact same flavors and textures you grew up with. In my case, these were a high and soft focaccia, a velvety strawberry and chocolate Bavarois, Carnival fritters and the perfect risotto. By trial-and-error, trusting the memory of my palate and the ingredients I could find. I did my research online, compared recipes and struggled with the conversions, but in the end, I achieved the glorious focaccia of my childhood, the berry bavarois of my name day, the Carnival fritters I now just buy at the baker’s and the most scrumptious risottos. As much as I love focaccia though, I could live of only gelato and in a city like Turin, I would never get tired of trying new flavors.

Lucia’s Favorite Place to Eat in Turin:

Il Vicolo in Via Melchiorre Gioia in Turin.  This is a risotto restaurant where they also make amazing crepes. Their menu is seasonal and their portions are humongous, so they introduced the half portions, but even those are huge!


Favorite Cooking Utensil:

My favorite cooking utensils are 2: the whisk and the wooden spoon because I love making crème anglaise, hot chocolate and whipping cream and I need the wooden spoon to stir my magic risottos.


Lucia’s Favorite Places to Shop:

In the US I loved shopping at Trader Joe’s, World Market and Whole foods, each one of those stores has different items that where I lived I couldn’t find: good pesto, European chocolate, tagliatelle, ginger candies, mochis and Loackers. In Turin, besides large department stores where I can find virtually everything,  I love El Fromage’ or as we call it at my place: the “twin brothers’ deli shop”.  It is a small shop in Via Garibaldi with regional specialties, especially cheeses and lunch meats owned by twin brothers, everything is just superb I also Love Negozio Leggero aka the “on tap shop” .  There are many locations in Turin but I normally go to the one in via San Tommaso  This is a small chain of shops where everything they sell is organic and on tap, and you can choose how much you want to buy: cereals, teas, wine, EVOO, spices, soap, detergents, farmers’ eggs straight from the country side, candies, chocolate cubes, sugared petals, algae and much more.


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Analiese Paik

June 16, 2015 By

Analiese Paik
Founder and Editor Fairfield Green Food Guide


Analiese is not only the original Green Food Gal and a tres chic woman, but also someone I admire and have the pleasure to collaborate with often.

She is the authority on local sustainable food and the founder and editor of the Fairfield Green Food Guide,
an award-winning digital news publication that promotes and supports a lifestyle that embraces eating locally and sustainably grown food.

She is continuously inspiring, and empowering consumers and yours truly to make more responsible food choices that positively impact our health and the health of the environment –
both through her website and live events – and being part of our local food movement.

Take some time to get know her and her award-winning site at: or follow her on twitter at @GreenFoodGal

Learn what makes Analiese not only a Green Guru but also a talent in the kitchen:

A Meal She Loves:

I make homemade pizza every Friday night instead of eating out with my family. I prepare it with the singular goal of creating fabulous flavors using proper technique (get that oven and pizza stone really, really hot) and fresh, quality ingredients. In late summer, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of heirloom tomatoes  that just burst with flavor on top of fresh mozzarella, then top them with fresh basil from the garden and a drizzle extra virgin olive oil to create one of the most delicious foods of summer. When dandelion greens show up in my CSA, I blanch them before sauteing with garlic and pine nuts for a grilled pizza topping that tastes of spring. Skip the sauce and make a white pizza topped with sautéed mushroom (oh that umami!), onions, and garlic finished with a bit of sherry and thyme. I make one pound of half whole wheat dough using this recipe and let it rise on the counter before refrigerating it.

Analiese’s Cooking Tip:

I recommend finding a few dozen meals you love to cook from scratch and making them over and over again until you own them. You’ll learn to modify the recipes based on the availability of seasonal ingredients and what’s in your refrigerator or pantry. Your “keeper” recipes will become the foundation of your repertoire and will make preparing evening meals, or meals for guests, more enjoyable and rewarding and less stressful and time consuming as your expertise grows. My to go to recipe is: Analiese’s Foolproof Pot of Beans

Analiese Favorite Spot To Eat: Anything Bill Taibe.

I became an instant fan of chef/restaurateur Bill Taibe when I took the first bite of my dinner entree at leFarm shortly after it opened in 2010. You could count the number of restaurants sourcing from local farms on one hand back then, making him a true pioneer. He’s brilliant, creative, and restless so it’s no surprise that leFarm’s success was followed by the launch of two more wildly successful restaurants – The Whelk and Kawa Ni. .,,

A Cooking Utensil She Cannot Live Without
An Immersion Blender.

I hate blenders. There I said it. Mine is gone.
I’m much too impatient a cook to let a soup cool before ladling it in batches into the blender. And why do batches when I can put an immersion blender right into the pot and blend until the desired consistency is reached? It’s one of the most useful and oft-used pieces of cooking equipment in my kitchen and is so easy to store and clean. I find it indispensable for making smoothies, wet pastes for marinades, soups, and sauces. I have a Braun (German), but they stopped distributing appliances in the US in 2008. The next generation of immersion blenders are cordless, a brilliant product upgrade that gives you and your children new freedoms in the kitchen.

I totally agree with Analiese and I use:
2 Speed Immersion Blender Cuisinart Stick

Analiese’s Number One Place to Shop for Food: The Westport Farmers Market

The Westport Farmers’ Market is one of my favorite places to shop for local food because it offers great quality and selection. Artisan breads and pasta, organically raised beef and pork, farmstead cow and goat’s milk cheeses, and organic vegetables are always on my list. I’m on the lookout for seasonal specialties that sell out fast like asparagus and organic strawberries in the spring and summer and field grown spinach in the winter.

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