From the moment I was born I heard different languages. My Italian family spoke many languages and dialects – English (of course), Italian, Abruzzese, Marchigiano, and Lombard, French, Polish were just a few. As I grew, I loved looking at Chinese characters, Russian words written in Cyrillic, German texts, my sister’s high school French books and I even invented some alphabets!
My studies and jobs always centered around language and cultures. I have been so blessed with being able to use the languages and travel the world. Most notably, I worked at Dragon Systems, the first company to commercialize speech recognition (you know like Siri). I was blown away that you could speak into a microphone and have your words appear on the screen – and in many languages too!
I have also been so lucky to eat at some of the best places around the globe, in Tokyo, Paris, New York, Rome, Hong Kong, Taipei, Budapest and many more. At home, I ate amazing Italian regional dishes but of course my mom mixed in American dishes. My dad baked bread and grandfather made wine. So it seemed natural that I fell in love with cooking and baking too.
Over the years, ever since Julia Child taught us how to cook French food, I have noticed people’s interest in food explode. However, I also was aware that people were intimidated and even fearful of the words of foreign food. Is it broos-Ketta or brooSHettta? MoozERella or MahzERella? I even heard of someone say BordiUX for Bordeaux. This is what caused my interest in combining my love for food and language and The Language Chef was born!
One of my main objectives of The Language Chef is to help learners feel comfortable and at ease with foreign food words.
Nowadays, I’m working and teaching languages on Zoom! It’s a blast and I meet some many earnest and interested people who really want to experience another culture through language. Facilitating this is my goal with this blog.
Along with writing and teaching languages, I’ve also been blessed with a good friend, Rachel Zirkle Miller – a fellow language junkie. We host “Talking Language” available on iTunes! We talk about all things language like two friends just chatting. Join us!