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The BIG ClambakeThe BIG Clambake Chefame/Eating Crowe's Giant Clambake   We've had a lot of fun throwing our Open (and now Pro) Chefame events and now we're going to be putting on a whole new crazy night of fun...  A giant clambake...

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Pro ChefAMe #1 - The Details!Pro ChefAMe #1 - The Details! September 14th has shaped up to be a prolific evening. ChefAMe is proud to present its first pro event in partnership with the Warwick Hotel and Tavern 17.  Pro ChefAMe will be different from our previous...

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Our first Pro ChefAMe!Our first Pro ChefAMe! Open ChefAMe has been incredible so far. We've now done five successful events and we feel that we've learned so much along the way. Our next event is something special. We're holding our first Professional...

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More information on Open ChefAMe #5More information on Open ChefAMe #5 The next event is just around the corner.  Ava is an Italian BYOB (so please, BYOB) located just north of South Street.  We're very excited to have both of our ChefAMe chefs cooking for you at Open ChefAMe...

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Oh she can cook! Meet Diana at #5.

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Interviews and Bios | Posted on 18-08-2009

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We love the fact that Open ChefAMe lets anyone who is daring enough to try their hand in the kitchen.  This time around we have Ali, who has been a professional chef, cooking right along Diana.  Diana is a fantastic woman.  She can cook, she’s got great friends and she’ll be there on August 24th sharing her splendid dishes.

Diana_ChefAMeDiana M. Martignoni: As a child of the 60’s and 70’s I always loved to cook.  My mother, Betty, was my greatest inspiration.  Boy, could she cook.   And both of us were “graduates” of Noni’s (my father’s mother) Italian culinary wonderland created in her South Broad Street kitchen.  She brought it all back from the motherland and it was nothing was short of amazing.

Now some time in the early 70’s, I went out into the world on my own, and, that’s when it started.  Cooking for myself – my own way – always under the influence of Betty and memories of Noni – but definitely with my own spin. It seemed that my contribution to any event was to organize and make the food. I guess it was my way of nurturing the world around me. Weddings, funerals, births, deaths, birthdays, holidays, graduations, you name it – I was in the kitchen. I favored the Italian dishes in the beginning, but, in the early 80’s I met Bea, who continues to be one of my very best friends.  Her family is from Mexico and between her and her mother….well a whole new world was opening up.  You’ll get to meet her on the 24th. Enter Gayle, the third amigo, and you have the makings of too much food and expanded waist belts.  Really, we’d be talking about what was for dinner while eating lunch.

I actually had a real job working in the printing industry as a Sales Rep.  Got to pay the rent! But the minute I got home from work, I’d find my way to the kitchen.  Frankly, that’s how my mornings would start too.  I just love the place.  All those pretty pots!  And let’s not forget the stove.  It took me 30 years to get her!

During the next 25 years I watched, listened and read everything and everyone that knew about cooking.  I questioned them all and learned through osmosis (the best way, really).  I could put out a spread for intimate gathering, small groups – even a good sized crowd.  But, to have control of a real professional kitchen – just a passing dream!  Or is it?

I guess I’m getting what I wished for. You know what they say about that. Oh Boy!

What?  Really… It’s just an intimate dinner for 8 on steroids!

As you now see, I’m a novice at this.  Not formally trained in a culinary school, not vetted in a professional kitchen but certainly well seasoned at home.

I am lucky to be joined by Bea Lisi (my very dear friend), Sean Casey (the son I never had), Lisa May (who got me into this in the first place) and Merissa Martignoni (my lovely daughter who was actually listening when I tried to teach her everything I knew about food).  They continue to encourage my joy for cooking and gladly eat everything I make.

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