Born in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, I grew up with a great appetite for and appreciation for authentic Italian food which was passed down through my family. For as long as I can remember, excellent home cooked meals (all sourced from local producers of course) provided me with nourishment for both the body and soul. After working in Milan in computer technology, I decided it was time to get back into the kitchen for some of that nourishment that the corporate world was not providing me. In 2012 I founded my own cooking school in Milan called Foodies’ Place. Run out of my home, the goal was to teach tourists from all over how to cook authentic Italian food, to pass on to them the secrets of how to cook traditional Italian food. Foodies’ Place evolved to become a well-known local cooking school where people learned how to cook traditional Italian meals using everyday kitchen utensils and appliances that they would have in their own homes. From 2014 until 2015 I was a chef and consultant at a restaurant called Cuocona located in Milan where I assisted the owner in many tasks such as updating the menus and organizing the kitchen. Additionally in 2014 I worked as a freelance chef for a well known italian TV personality. I cooked a meal for over 200 people with limited kitchen space and used only seasonal ingredients and managed to pull it off. In 2015 and 2016 I again worked as a freelance chef and had to prepare historical meals for large amounts of people and learn and prepare them in their traditional ways.
In 2017 I was sponsored by Nella Cucina to move to Toronto to work as their cooking school manager and as a corporate chef. Duties included organizing and running cooking classes for both corporate and private clients, menu development, budgeting and recipe planning. The vast array of clients meant I was constantly dealing with unique challenges. One day I could be cooking for business executives or other chefs, while the next day it could be teaching people with eating disorders or allergies how to cook healthy meals and the importance of nutrition.
These jobs and experiences have enabled me to grow both as a teacher and as a chef. I am now fortunate to be in the position of being able to combine all of my attributes to offer a variety of services that allow me to get back to doing what I love most, which is teaching, developing recipes and cooking for people. Since mid 2019 I have been running my own business as Personal Chef, you can find me here and there, but mostly here valentinacooks.com