Born into a family of Neapolitan restaurateurs, Maria developed a love for cooking as a child and as a teenager worked alongside her mother and grandmother at Icumani, the family restaurant. Coming to America in 2000, she quickly broke into the New York culinary world, establishing a reputation for creativity and quality which led to posts as Chef at Caffe Pompei, Cinema Paradiso (Astoria), and a brief return to Italy as Sous Chef at Milan’s Princi. Maria’s strong personality and passion for her art puts a unique stamp on her dishes. She currently has her own catering business and is exploring opening her own restaurant. She also has a weakness for Martinis and can drink any three Northern Italians under the table with one hand tied behind her back, blindfolded, and standing on her head.