Love for cooking has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I came to the Community of Jesus in 1981 with my family, and some of my happiest memories as a child are the times I spent with the Sisters helping in the Retreat kitchen. As a novice, I would go to bed at night reading Bon Appetite magazine from cover to cover — I’m a sponge for learning. In 1990, I took my vows as a Sister after a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. I’m a member of Gloriae Dei Cantores choir, I play the flute, and I work as the music publicist at Paraclete Press. But my ‘happy place’ is in the kitchen — I truly meet Jesus there.
In June, 2014, the Community of Jesus opened Mount Tabor Ecumenical Centre for Art and Spirituality at Villa Via Sacra in Barga, Italy, and I have been blessed to be a part of this exciting new venture as one of the chefs. Hospitality is a Benedictine charism that becomes a part of who we are. Being immersed in a country where we are surrounded by color and beauty, epiphany moments occur every day. My style is every day Tuscan — food that awakens the senses and nourishes the soul. I look forward to sharing a part of my day with you!
I grew up with a love for food and cooking which I acquired from my Ukranian mother who was naturally gifted with the ability to produce a delicious meal out of anything without a recipe, and my father who immigrated from Greece to NYC where he went into the restaurant business as a very young man. At home in the kitchen with my mother, and in and around the restaurant with my father (then later with my older brother a very successful restaurateur) I was automatically apprenticed into the ‘food world’ without even realizing it and My cooking is very much characterized by a rustic European influence.
My background in Art, coupled with my love for flowers, led me into years as a floral designer with one of Boston’s leading florists while managing one of their shops in the prestigious Old Copley Plaza. Both passions fitted me for my first responsibility as a new sister when I came to the Community of Jesus some forty years ago and was assigned to run our Bethany Guest House which included cooking and decorating for guests, retreats, and special events and functions.
Although I have a genuine appreciation for creativity and flare in food preparation, I tend more towards the conservative side, and what I think will satisfy and warm the heart. I never sacrifice taste or flavor just for the sake of producing something new or different. I love to cook for and feed people. It gives me a lot of joy and satisfaction.
Monastery Kitchen in the Press