The first time I laughed was at the dinner table.
I was only a couple months old, and my Italian American family was crowded into a small Brooklyn apartment, on the seventh course of Christmas Eve dinner. My great Aunt Carmela slammed her hand down on the table, and I began to giggle. I like to think of that moment as the beginning of my lifelong love affair with food.
Food fascinates me because it transcends our simple need for nourishment. Eating is so much more– it’s family, memories, and comfort. Food is both essential and emotional, and that combination is a beautiful thing.
When I was 12 years old I considered attending culinary arts school, but was quickly convinced I needed a liberal arts education instead. And while I loved my literature and history classes, I always felt there was something missing.
So I started working at restaurants in high school and affirmed my love for the industry. I was lucky to work with some very creative chefs and bartenders, and quickly knew I belonged in that world. I worked my way up and traded studying International Relations in downtown Washington DC to Hospitality and Tourism Management in rural Western Massachusetts.
After graduating I couldn’t imagine working with anything besides food. So I left everything I knew behind and bought a one way plane ticket to Spain— officially to teach English, but really to discover the country’s amazing cuisine.
Since 2009 I have lived and breathed Spanish food. And that doesn’t mean I’ve simply eaten out a lot! I’ve traveled the country in search of local food and farmers. I’ve met the families behind the food and heard their stories. I’ve learned to cook the most authentic Spanish recipes and started this Spanish food blog. I’ve also traveled around Europe (and beyond) writing about the local food scene in places like Munich, Athens, New Orleans and Poland.
In 2012 I embarked on the biggest challenge of my life thus far. I started a small food tour company called Madrid Food Tour. Starting a business in Spain wasn’t easy, and I’m proud to say that my company has grown to become Devour Spain. We offer food tours in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. Our mission is to connect travelers to small, family run food businesses and the depth of local culture. We show our guests an insider’s view of the city, complete with the story of what we’re eating and why. The journey has been both exhilarating and exhausting. If you’re visiting Spain we’d love to have you join us!
So if you like food, travel and stories– you’re in the right place. This is where I share my love for Spanish cuisine and culinary tourism.
Here are some articles to get to know me better:
- Here’s the story of how I started my business in Spain and here’s what my life is currently like as an entrepreneur in Spain.
- Going on four years of marriage already– here’s how I met my husband Alejandro (the first week I moved to Spain!).
- And for those of you curious about the weddings (yup, there were two…) here are the pictures from Spain and the US.
- Hungry yet? These are the top five recipes on the site– for more check the Spanish recipe blog section:
- These are my city gastro guides, free food guides for travelers to my favorite cities in Spain (more guides coming soon!)
- Coming to Spain? These are my company’s food tours and tapas tours in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.
- If you like going off the beaten path like I do, here are my favorite Spanish destinations that aren’t as popular as they should be– yet!
- My absolute obsession: Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil– here’s what you need to know
In addition to writing at Spanish Sabores, I’m also the About.Com Spanish food expert— check out my recipe there too!