"Buongiorno! Welcome to my Italian-American adventures!"
Giulianna Rigali 2016 Italiano Connection
Giulianna Rigali
My Italiano Connection

The Basics: 

"Hello, my name is Giulianna Rigali. My family hails originally from  Barga in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy, but I was born and raised in California. While I am an Italian-American, I am an American first and foremost. :)"
^^^ The above quote is what I used to believe. But then one day my best friend bought me a FamilyTree DNA test kit. I knew my Great-great grandfather was 100% Italian when he came to America, so I was sure it would show my Italian heritage, along with my Bohemian, Scottish, Irish, and Native American heritage. Imagine my shock when the test results came back showing I was less than 2% from the Italian region. I'm BARELY Italian. 

From all of the years I've been studying Italian culture and learning to cook Italian...you could say I now have Acquired Italianism. Of course, I'm highly suspect my Great-Great Grandfather was a spy masquerading as an Italian in America as now upon closer examination, he doesn't look Italian in his photograph, in fact in a photo of my Great-Grandfather as a teen, he looks like Christian Bale as Laurie in Little Women. Christian Bale is from the UK. Surprisingly, I'm 96 percent from the UK. Coincidence? I think not. Christian Bale might be my relative, who knows?!?!?! 😉
And now back to what I used to believe...

I love my ^"barely"^ Italian heritage and what I have learned about cooking, but one thing our Italian nonnas (grandmothers) did when they came over here, they worked with the ingredients they had on hand, which were often things not available in Italy and vice versa. They never concerned themselves with it being "authentic Italian," because the style was Italian, even if the ingredients were American. They loved this new country with all of its opportunities and were never ashamed that their cooking changed to fit the land in which they dwelt, nor will I apologize that my cooking is the best of Italian and American combined.

My life centers around my precious family. We love cooking together, hiking, astronomy, museum touring, and anything Star Wars or Legos. 
Chef Bretto - Famous Star Wars Italian Chef
Chef Bretto

Chef Bretto has been pursuing his passion of cooking/baking for several years as the guest chef on this blog and is also a devout fan of all things Star Wars.

Hobbies and Passions: 

In my spare time, I am an Italian reviewer, award-winning cook (1st Place in a cooking contest for ABC TV), The Star Wars Mom,  and homeschooling educator. 

"Barely" Italian Cooking:

Our house can be crazy with the coming and going, but "la cucina piccola fa la casa grande," the little kitchen makes a big home! Food brings the family together. In Italy the table and food is the connecting place with family and friends. Thus, creating exceptional food and traditions at home have become our rule.


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