Francis Albert Sinatra was the only child of two Italian immigrants. His father was Anthony Sinatra, a New York fireman of Sicilian origin, and his...
Rosaria Restaurant, in Saugus, Massachusetts, named after owner Joe Pace’s mother, Rosaria, who hailed from Abruzzo, the region known for its “forte ma gentile popolo” was the site of a “Ciao Italia Mary Ann Esposito Foundation Benefit Dinner” recently.
The dinner event, generously co-hosted by Mr. Joe Pace and beloved television chef, Mary Ann Esposito, showcased some of Mary Ann Esposito’s renown Italian culinary creations and were enjoyed by all, thereby delighting the palates of some ninety “Ciao Italia Mary Ann Esposito Foundation Benefit” attendees.
Mary Ann Esposito also made a presentation about her “Ciao Italia Foundation” which will enthusiastically be promoting Italian Culture through food and tradition.
Mary Ann Esposito, author, chef and the television host of Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito, which started in 1989, is the longest running television cooking program in America.
Food and culture are central to the Italian American experience. For generations, Italian-American families have come together around the dinner table where parents and grandparents have passed on their traditions and values. Gaps between generations have been bridged by home-cooked meals, but times have changed.
The mission of the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation is to preserve authentic Italian and Italian-American experience by providing educational information and digital demonstrations for students who want to become thenext generation of great Italian chefs.
The Esposito family is contributing significant resources to this project’s success, but is also actively seeking contributions to create the necessary resources that will build and maintain a Ciao Italia Italian Heritage and Education Resource Center.
The Center will be maintained by a major American university and will be open to any student wishing to research Italian gastronomy. The Center will house the entire catalogue of Ciao Italia resources in formats that are accessible for generations of students to come.
To keep the administrative costs at a minimum, the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation will operate as a donor advised fund at Greater Horizons, a national 501-(c)(3) organization with more than $1 billion in assets. Greater Horizons ensures fiduciary excellence and legal compliance. Greater Horizons also provides donors with the maximum tax deduction allowable by law. Gifts of cash, stock, real estate and hard-to-value assets are handled by Greater Horizon’s expert staff. The donor advised fund will be directly advised and overseen by Mary Ann and Guy Esposito.
Checks for the Foundation should be addressed to:
“Ciao Italia” Mary Ann Esposito Foundation C/o Greater Horizons 1055 Broadway, Suite 130 Kansas City, MO 64105 ***
Mary Ann Esposito was raised in Buffalo, New York. Her mother was a dietician. Her grandmothers, both professional chefs, moved to the United States from Italy in the 1890s. Her paternal grandmother, from Sicily, owned a butcher shop in Fairport, New York, and her maternal grandmother lived in Buffalo, where she owned a boarding house. The latter grandmother was from Naples, and continued the traditions of her Italian household within the boarding house. The boarding house was the only house in the neighborhood that had a bathtub, and on Friday nights she would offer neighbors a bath and dinner for a quarter. While her grandmothers provided Italian food, Esposito desired to eat standard foods like other children: Wonder Bread and iceberg lettuce.
Esposito, who never intended to pursue a career in cooking, learned to cook from her family. Her grandmothers made bread every day, with Esposito helping to make upwards of 20 loaves of bread a day, canning vegetables and fruits, and helping to prepare ingredients for meals. Eventually, Esposito attended college, where she would graduate with a teaching degree and become an elementary school teacher.
In 1979, her mother sent her a pasta maker, and despite a lack of interest in cooking as an adult, Esposito taught herself how to make pasta dough. The following year, she and her husband Guy (Gaetano) visited Italy for the first time, visiting his cousins. While in Italy, Esposito started attending a cooking class. She began learning the history of Italian cooking, region by region, and traveling to the country twice a year for cooking lessons.
At the University of New Hampshire she took classes to learn how to speak Italian. By 1985 she joined the History Master’s program at the university, writing her thesis about Italian Renaissance cooking. Esposito started teaching cooking through the University of New Hampshire’s Division of Continuing Education.
In the mid-1980s she submitted a proposal for a cooking show to New Hampshire Public Television. The show was delayed production because of the small size of the television station, however, upon moving to a larger station, a pilot was taped. The pilot was a test to not only gauge viewer reception, but also to see how Esposito would be on camera. On the hottest day of the year in the region, the television crew came to Esposito’s home in Durham, New Hampshire and the pilot was taped. Upon airing, the pilot received great reception and the longest running television cooking show was born...