Resident’s Recipe Brings a Taste of Italy to Paradise | The Atria Kitchen
Posted on April 28, 2015 by Shell Morley
Atria Paradise resident Antoinette D. is known for her cooking skills – so much so she’s published a cookbook of her family’s favorite recipes titled, Mangia e Tuei! (Eat and Be Quiet!).
“We had seven kids and they were always talking loudly at the table,” she said. “So every meal it was: ‘Eat and be quiet!’”
Antoinette and her husband loved the cuisine of Northern Italy and brought along several cherished recipes when they moved from Italy to America after World War II.
During National Nutrition Month in March, the community’s chef, Brian Wells, chose one of Antoinette’s recipes for an evening meal. Her polenta con le salsiccie e peperoni, or polenta with sausage and peppers, was a big hit.
“Everyone loves Antoinette’s cooking, the residents included,” said Wells.
But before WWII, Antoinette didn’t have much use for cooking; she came from a wealthy family that employed a service staff. When she married at the beginning of the war, she found herself in a place to learn.
As luck would have it, she was a natural. With the help of an old Italian cookbook and her sister, Giulia, Antoinette quickly fine-tuned her craft and proceeded to make a lasting, flavorful impression on her family.
Married for more than 50 years and a mother of seven, Antoinette is the proud grandmother of 10. Today, her adult children say their fondest memories are of the family gathered around the table enjoying their mother’s cooking.
Although homemade pasta and bread still top her list of her favorite foods, Antoinette maintains a healthy lifestyle.
“I watch so I don’t over-eat and I exercise, exercise, exercise! I walk, take Zumba®, and practice weight training and stretching – I do it all!”
For those inexperienced in the kitchen, Antoinette lends the following advice: “Don’t be afraid; just start cooking – that’s what I did!”
Zumba® is a registered trademark of Zumba Fitness, LLC.