A personal 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 in 2007 at the Italian Culinary Academy, a division of the International Culinary Center (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute). Maria’s program of study began at the ICA in New York City and then continued in Parma, Italy at the prestigious Italian cooking school, ALMA-La Scuola Internzionale di Cucina Italiana. 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. Working under Executive Chef Andy Nusser, she quickly became responsible for overseeing the antipasti station, creating many new dishes that were rotated onto the menu.
In October of 2009 Maria decided to leave Tarry Lodge to strike out on her own starting her company 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, preparing all types of cuisine as her clients request.
In January of 2011 Maria added a new facet to Bella Cucina Maria: teaching recreational cooking classes. Not only can you find her at Tarry Market in Port Chester but she also will come directly to your home. Check the cooking class tabs on this site for more details.
Maria is also a contributing writer for the on-line Small Bites blog, with the Westchester newspaper the Journal News. Her weekly post is call "Seasonal Chef" where she writes about seasonal ingredients found at the local farmers markets.