A writer and chef specializing in cocktail parties, intimate dinners and recreational cooking classes.
MEET CHEF MARIA
A lover of the culinary arts for over 30 years, Maria Falck Reina made the bold decision in 2007 to walk away from a 23 year career in corporate and retail management and head to the kitchen. She thus embarked on formal culinary training in New York City at the International Culinary Center (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute). Maria’s program of study began in New York City and then continued at the prestigious Italian cooking school, ALMA-La Scuola Internzionale di Cucina Italiana, in Parma. There, she learned to cook regional Italian dishes and studied the wines and the regional history of Italy. Maria then went on to apprentice at Ristorante Reale, a beautiful two-Michelin star restaurant located in the resort town of Rivisondoli in the mountains of Abruzzo, about an hour and a half from Rome. After completing her apprenticeship, Maria returned to the U.S. and received her Grande Diplôme from the ICA in 2008.
Just after graduation she joined Tarry Lodge, the highly acclaimed restaurant in the Batali-Bastianich group, located in Port Chester, New York, as part the original opening team. After an exhilarating time in the Tarry Lodge kitchen she decided to strike out on her own and create Bella Cucina Maria, Ltd. In addition to working as a personal chef in Connecticut and New York, she creates cocktail and dinner parties for clients in the New York metropolitan area. Coupled with her catering Maria also does private in-home cooking classes as well as cooking parties. (Check the Cooking Class tab on this site for more details.)
Maria is also a weekly contributing writer for the Gannett Journal Newspaper, Westchester edition, a blogger for LoHud.com/food. Her weekly Wednesday post is called "Seasonal Chef" where she writes about seasonal ingredients found at the local farmers markets and offers easy recipes, tips and how-to videos. (For links to her stories go to the Seasonal Chef tab on this site.)