Amazing Ingredients and Food Philosophy with Bella Cucina Artful Food

Interview with Alisa Barry: author, chef, owner of Bella Cucina Artful Food

On your website you talk about the Mediterranean Pantry. Tell us more!
The Mediterranean Pantry is full of classic staples that have great flavor. Some examples are good olive oil, great basil, chick peas and lemons. I love these flavors. I try to marry California fresh with Mediterranean Classics.

How do you select your ingredients for Bella Cucina?
I am proud to say that we are the producer for Bella Cucina. We make everything by hand using the finest, all natural, quality ingredients.
I love to be inspired by ingredients. I love fragrant Myer lemon which inspired me to make a Myer Lemon Spread. I also found Tuscan rose petals that I mixed with pink peppercorns which makes an exquisite au poivre for steak and fish.

I still create all the recipes for Bella Cucina but, attribute the success to my cooking staff of 14 years.

Your pestos are so interesting? Can you tell me more about them- i.e. pumpkin, onion and the olivada olive?
I like to say I have poetic license on pesto. As such a versatile condiment, I find that Bella Cucina pestos can be tossed with pasta, used as a stuffing, or layered with cheese. I am again inspired by the ingredient and the flavor. We have this fresh new mint/pistachio pesto. I recommend it being mixed with Greek yogurt, used under the skin of a roasted chicken or tossed with pasta topped with sautéed or grilled shrimp.

Are there any other new products on the horizon?
Yes, we have spinach & artichoke bruchetta, pizza/marinara sauce, foccacia mix, cranberry/apple sauce, as well as noon food items like, new linens, Holiday gifts, piccolo gift cookbook, serving pieces and a unique imported Tuscan grill that Bella Cucina will be the sole importer of. Alice Waters (Chef/Owner Chez Panisse, California) loves this grill. Everything should be posted on the website in the next 4 weeks but, please come visit my blog. I love to talk about food and share recipes!

Alisa also shared with me her belief that one of the most important aspects of food is the wonderful ritual of preparing and enjoying the dishes. We couldn’t agree more.

Posted by Julia L. Hurwitz


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