Hello! I’m Serena.
I’m the creator of Rustic Plate and am also a columnist, blogger, food educator & photographer. After half a lifetime of living in big cities like New York, Philadelphia, Milan and London, I currently reside in the university town of Auburn, Alabama.
Other facts about me, in no particular order:
- I was born in the Piedmont region of Italy in a small city called Ivrea. As a result, my heart and culinary foundation are deeply embedded in Italian cuisine. That said, I have lived for most of my life in the United States and have been influenced heavily by the melting pot of flavors found in this ethnically diverse nation.
- I have lived in three different countries (U.S., Italy & England) and have traveled throughout Europe, the Caribbean and North America. My next destinations are Spain, Chile, Peru, India and Australia.
- I am mom to two strong-willed and talented daughters. One revels in food like her mamma. She was eating mussels from a shell at the tender age of 2 and began making comments like ‘this could use a little more rosemary, mamma’ at 6. I can always count on her for an honest and thoughtful assessment of the dishes I make. My other one could happily survive on mac-n-cheese, chicken fingers and fruit if I let her. Bridging the gap between these disparate food sensibilities is one of my greatest challenge as a mom and home cook. They certainly keep things interesting. I love them truly, madly, deeply 99.9% of the time, though I have been tempted to sell them both to the gypsies the other .1%. It hasn’t happened yet, but consider yourselves warned girls…
- Long ago, I was a singer/songwriter in New York City. I had my own band and played out at bars and venues throughout the city. The best way to sum up my music career is that I am now a food writer. Should you care to have a listen, here are two of my songs: When Bags R Packed & I Like Strawberries_(PG13)
- I am an omnivore, though meat is generally a supporting actor, never the lead. In my 20s, I was a vegetarian with leanings toward macrobiotic and Ayurvedic principles. But after a few years of good intentions, I remembered bacon…and steak…and chicken cutlets. After all, I am Italian and we eat everything.
- I love introducing people to new foods and flavors. I also love getting kids, even adult ‘kids,’ eating more vegetables by preparing them in a way that makes them irresistibly yummy. A reader once emailed me to let me know that her grandson, known for snubbing green beans, ate 5 (five!) servings of this recipe.
Thanks for visiting! Now…let’s cook something!