I’M A CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATOR.
My parents come from Sicily, the crossroads of the Mediterranean, where centuries of multicultural influences are still manifested in the local sounds, flavors, and customs. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and spoke Spanish and understood Sicilian/Italian before settling in New Jersey. A journalism major at NYU, I also studied Italian, Spanish, and French and earned a master’s degree in Italian language and literature from Rutgers University while working as an editor.
Though English is my third language, it is the one in which I best express myself. Through my work I strive to bring together people and ideas from around the world.
I LOVE CAROUSELS, and will ride one any chance I get.They make me feel like a kid again.
FOOD AND FAMILY INFORM MY WORK.
Assignments in the United States and abroad have given me an inside look into the history and traditions of some of the world’s most exquisite delicacies—from Jersey tomatoes and cranberries to European cheese and charcuterie. Along the way, I’ve profiled the researchers, farmers, merchants, chefs, and restaurateurs who keep us fed.
I learned to cook, however, by watching my mother prepare simple yet delicious meals using the freshest ingredients, often grown in our modest backyard, which was tended by my father—a genuine locavore before the term was coined.
I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM.
I have written about making homemade ice cream (I’m not very good at it), taken a gelato-making class in Manhattan’s Little Italy (I fared better with a pro standing by), and run like crazy toward the sound of the Mister Softee jingle wherever I hear it.
SPORTS HAVE GIVEN ME SOME OF
THE HAPPIEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE.
A childhood (and forever) fan of the New York Yankees, I relished being a baseball, basketball, and soccer mom to two athletically gifted sons. As part of a dedicated team of volunteers, I co-founded a recreational soccer program that has provided thousands of children from pre-school through high school the opportunity to play “the beautiful game.”
Professionally I’ve written a national magazine cover story on the future of soccer in the United States, and have profiled numerous Olympic athletes in a variety of fields.
I’M A GAME SHOW GEEK.
I was a winner on Trump Card, hosted by former Miami Dolphin Jimmy Cefalo and filmed in Atlantic City. Seven-months pregnant with my second child, I competed on Jeopardy! with Alex Trebek. I didn’t win that time—blame the hormones for interfering with my ability to buzz in effectively—but I did get the Final Jeopardy! answer right. If I happen upon a game show while flipping through the channels, chances are I’ll play along.
WRITING BRINGS ME JOY EACH DAY.
My works in progress include research on Italian Military Internees during World War II, a retelling of a Sicilian folktale, several picture books, and two full-length plays.
I ALWAYS MEET MY DEADLINES. Like the proverb says,
“There’s no time like the present.”