Sous Chef, Culinary Center Buyer, In-house Chef

Chef Cinzia Cripe

Chef Cinzia Cripe

Born in Bergamo, Italy, of parents from the region of Naples, I spent the vast majority of my youth in this area, famous for its Mediterranean and Southern Italian foods. My father was the son of a regionally famous baker (Bar Pasticceria Petagna) and in the bakery kitchen is where I first learned the methods of cooking and baking. During my school years, with the help of my mother, grandmother, aunts, and various friends, I continued to cultivate my love for cooking until it became a passion. After I left University I chose to pursue a culinary career and started from the lowest jobs in restaurants and hotel kitchens all around Italy to increase my knowledge and deepen my understanding of different styles of cooking.

Following marriage to my husband, a member of the USAF, I was offered and accepted the opportunity to teach military family members the art of Italian cooking and baking. And thus I found my second passion, teaching and sharing my accumulated knowledge built through the years. Following my husband’s retirement, we moved to Brandon, Florida, where I was employed at the famous “Shula’s Steakhouse” in Tampa. There, my main duties included kitchen preparation and cooking as well as reservations and set up of the dining room.

I left Shula’s to pursue my dream of owning and running my own restaurant which came true with the opening of “Luna Rossa” in Brandon. We garnered several excellent reviews from local media and, of course, the best advertising, word of mouth. Unfortunately, my mother’s health issues forced me to devote myself to her needs. As her care is now being provided by a professional service, I once again am able to pursue my passions.

I am currently writing a blog ” Il gusto dei ricordi – The flavor of memories” where I share stories of my family and friends tied to recipes I associate with them. I have been writing this blog now for more than 3 years with more than 9 million views worldwide.