I was born and raised in Tuscany, Italy, that I left to move to the US, where I lived 22 years and where I had the opportunity to nurture my passion for food. I was in Key West, FL, when―either by chance or by fate―the owner of the famous upscale Italian restaurant Antonia’s foresaw my talent and offered me a job, setting in motion my career, my training, my adventure. After 10 wonderful and professionally rewarding years during which I also met my husband, kitchen manager and chef as well, I started to explore the vegetarian and vegan sector, studying and experimenting creations in the kitchens of Natural Food Market in Miami and Key West. I then moved to Cape Cod, MA, where I worked for 5 years in several high-end restaurants creating summer and fall menus and managing my own kitchen staff. When my husband and I decided it was time to start our own business, we relocated in Wilmington, NC, but this time devoting our passion, energies, and time to something different: that’s how our Italian pastry shop “La Gemma”―named after our first daughter―was born. While our popularity increased and Whole Foods Market® wanted us among its suppliers, I started to organize cooking classes. In the past 2 years, after I sold “La Gemma,” I’ve worked as a private chef both in Figure Eight Island, NC, and in Tuscany, where I now live and where I’m probably taking care of your prospective vacation or course.