Everyone hopes to find their creative outlet somewhere in life, I can confidently say I found mine in the kitchen. In this world, in this lifetime, a kitchen is where I am meant to spend most of my time here, passing the minutes. Creating different recipes, mixing, stirring, kneading my inner thoughts and passions into something delicious to eat. I have a desire so strong the creativity of cooking literally pulls me in the direction of a kitchen. The kitchen is home to me, and everyone who knows me will tell you the same. It is simply where I belong.
Maybe it is partly because I grew up with so much great food and surrounded by the love of cooking that I want everyone to experience what it is like to fall in love with food and the feeling it brings to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends. The warmth that a good soup brings to your belly when the weather is frosty outside is the type of warmth my mother taught me to put into my cooking, and what I now strive to provide to the people who enjoy my food.
In a small town in Italy in my mother’s kitchen, I had the pleasure of seeing her create the most mouth-watering dishes I can only try to recreate now. In that kitchen, I learned the passion and love that went into cooking. The love of the process, finding fresh ingredients, creating a recipe, and ultimately pulling it off. During the many family gatherings, I saw the contentment and pleasure that came from having others enjoy your food. It is because of her that I had the opportunity to learn quite a lot of old-world secrets even though she rarely measured anything and cooked mostly by “feel.” You can imagine how this opened up my senses of what it really means to be a chef. I guess you could say, I knew from a young age I was a chef.
My background, passion, and of course, education are the perfect ingredients to make me into the chef I am today. In 1983, I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with an Associate of Occupational Science degree. I returned in 1999 to complete my Bachelor’s degree and graduated with honors. Every aspect of my life and the experiences I have gained have led me to where I am today.
My practical work experience has included the Rainbow Room in the Empire State Building, Alfredos in Walt Disney’s Epcot Center, Executive Chef in private restaurants and country clubs, account manager for Sodexho, and Morrison Food Service Management. My passion and love for food started way before my latest adventure of owning my own business “Senza Glutine by Carmela”, but the purpose and vision are the same.
Through my cooking, I hope to stir up a love of savory and sweet into the lives of others by providing the freshest of ingredients, always bought locally if possible, as well as the creativity and passion I put into every dish made in my 100% gluten-free kitchen. My vision is not only to feed and cater to the celiac or gluten-free community, but to all that have a love for gourmet food. Happiness can most certainly be found through the stomach, and I fully intend on making it into as many people’s stomachs as possible.