My name is Rosa and I currently live in the winter less land of the rainbows: Hawaii, Maui to be precise.
How did I land here you might ask. Well, it’s a long story that started over half a century ago in Perugia, Umbria, Italy.
I was born in the 60s. No cell phones, tablets just black and white TV (and no remote either!).
So, as kids, we only had our imagination to play with. Simplicity, frugality, resourcefulness have been childhood acquired skills that have served me well all my life.
However, I wasn’t born to set roots, but to grow wings.
My first Carnevale costume was as “Sitting Bull”. Thank goodness we didn’t have to worry about cultural appropriation!
From there I was totally fascinated with TV series such Happy Days, and even my t-shirts had English written logos. I really don’t know why.
It is said that whatever you hold the most in your thoughts becomes your reality. I say that when and if life throws some good opportunities at you, you better have the hindsight to decide if they are good or not. If such an occasion is deemed to be positively good for you, take it!
In 1996 I was give the opportunity to come to America to study. It meant that I had to sever all my tights and leave everything I knew for sure: work, family, friends. It meant I had to take a chance on me and trust not only my gut instincts, but also challenge my insecurity.
So, I packed a large suitcase and flew all the way to Oregon, where, for the following few years I studied hard and got my first college degree in 2000.
After that, I decided to stay. Got my first job at a local school district as a part time food service assistant. 20 years later, when I left, I had reached the kitchen coordinator position.
While working full time I also found time to buy me a cute little apartment, nurture everlasting friendships, get a second degree as a pastry chef which changed my life. Life game me another hand at change 6 years ago. Until then Hawaii had been a pleasant vacation destination for me, but something inside told me it was time to move again. So I did. Rinse and repeat, I left my friends, my job, and faced the unknown once again.
My first job in Maui was as a specialty baker. Early morning shifts are not a problem when one loves her job, right?…until the pandemic hit. I took that time to look at what I had accomplished so far, in a foreign land, in a different language, and decided that it was time to fly solo.
Molto Ono was born to fulfill that need. Molto Buono in Italian means very good. Ono in Hawaiian means delicious, so a little play on words and voila’.
I cook Italian recipes with a Pacific rim accent, the result of almost 30 years spent between Oregon and Hawaii. My cuisine is joyful, colorful, unapologetic and innovative. Loud, bold and utterly delicious.
I use seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients, as I learned to do from my grandmothers and I feel life has come a full circle.
Finally, so far from Italy, I can celebrate my roots, and my Italian soul like I was always meant to do.