My name is Maria Reina, and I am thrilled to be returning for a third year of guest blogging for Liz during this year’s HV Restaurant Week. Food has always been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I love to think about food, be around it, talk about it – I’m pretty sure I dream about it too! I am most happy in my kitchen creating something, or enjoying some one else’s fabulous creation.
Just about 5 years ago I decided to trade corporate life for something I was much more passionate about: yes, you guessed it: the world of food. With the support of my wonderful husband Larry I embarked on a life altering experience: I enrolled in culinary school, training first in NYC, then Parma and Abruzzo, in Italy. Shortly after returning I joined Andy Nusser’s opening team at Tarry Lodge and spent some of the most exhilarating and intense time of my life making and creating many delicious antipasti at his fabulous Port Chester trattoria.
In the fall of 2009 I left restaurant life and started my company Bella Cucina Maria venturing out on my own as a personal chef and caterer, a career I thoroughly enjoy! In early 2011 I began teaching recreational cooking classes with my local Parks and Recreation departments, but now you can now find me back on that familiar corner of Main and Mill Streets in Port Chester, teaching adult and kids classes at Tarry Market.
I’m looking forward to visiting some great restaurants this year with Larry and a few of our friends. Keep an eye out for my blogs!