Falling in love with food for me all started growing up in an Italian family here in NY.
It was all about food and good conversation growing up in this large Italian family.
My grandmother was a great cook and a very good gardener who always made meal time special.
I have many memories of her making homemade pasta’s and she truly inspired me with cooking and the love of food.
As I grew up and went on to college, I supported my way through school by working in restaurants. By the early 2000’s, I was looking for my next career move and I wanted it to still be in food but I also wanted it to incorporate health education and feel I could make a difference in people’s lives. First I enrolled in several years of culinary classes at the Culinary Institute of America, The Natural Gourmet Institute and in 2009, I attended The Institute of Integrative Nutrition to learn about holistic nutrition. Ironically at this time, I had a health issue. Going through the program help me realize that we all have our own internal pharmacy and that food is medicine. I cured my secondary hypertension illness by finding the right Drs. and I also taught myself and these Drs. that food is really medicine.
My philosophy on cooking for health
My cooking style and philosophy is inspired by cooking with the seasons and to use a variety of cuisines to accommodate the palate of her clients. Donna believes in eating a whole foods diet that include, organic animal protein, wild and sustainable seafood, organic dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fermented foods. She makes all her own homemade stocks and bone broths, uses good fats to cook with ex. coconut oil, grass fed butter, ghee, olive oil, walnut oil.
Donna shops locally at Hudson Valley Farms & Markets, Health Food Stores and major grocery stores that support sustainable and high quality ingredients. She strives to purchase organic and when possible. She believes you need to make time to cook your own food at home, enjoy good conversation at meal time and chew your food slowly. She believes getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, restful sleep and to minimize stress by not taking yourself so seriously and to laugh quite often. Be gentle on yourself and others, love heals.
What’s Cooking? Company History
What’s Cooking was founded in 2000 out of a memory of Donna’s childhood growing up with an Italian grandmother who loved to garden and prepare all her meals from fresh ingredients. Growing up, mealtime was with family around the dinner table enjoying good conversation and savoring homemade Italian Specialties. From this experience, Donna’s passion for food and teaching grew out of this childhood memory.
The business grew over the years servicing several families and busy professionals, weekly, with occasional dinner parties and cooking classes throughout the month. The business shifted in 2009 when Donna graduated from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and at the same time was dealing with a health crisis which she found a cure for in 2010. Since then, the business now has embarked on a shift from providing purely personal chef services to including assisting families with special dietary needs through health coaching, cooking instruction to wellness events.
What’s Cooking is an innovative, creative and culinary and wellness education business providing high quality, in home cooking services, individual and group cooking classes using locally sourced ingredients. Our goal is to teach busy people about healthy eating and how to incorporate a more plant based diet that can help people with reaching optimal health and preventing chronic illness.
We pride our services as partners with our customers, community and our environment. We aim to become a Hudson Valley brand name, focusing on using local farms, sustainable grocery chains, such as Whole Foods, Mrs. Greens and Adams Acres to provide the best possible ingredients to cook with.
Our Focus, Commitment and Service to You
What’s Cooking is your meal time solution by preparing nutritious and delicious meals in your home. What’s Cooking can help you with your health challenges by teaching you how to cook for your special diet needs. Our excellent customer service, professional training and knowledge build trust with each of our customers so that they will use our service again or recommend it to their family, friends or business associates.
What separates us from the competition…
What’s cooking specializes in healthy cooking and special diets, such as, cardiac diets, diabetic and gluten free. We use fresh, local and organic (when possible) and shop at Whole Foods, Mrs. Greens, Adams Acres and Nature Pantry. We also use various farm markets throughout the year. Clients love working with me because of my personality (we have great conversations and laugh a lot) and my professional knowledge and that I love to constantly learn in this ever changing industry. They love the simple and fresh flavors of my signature dishes.