Two countries, two cuisines, one pair of soulmates
He’s from Sardinia, Italy and she’s from Sonoma, California. He loves her quesadillas, and she loves his linguine. When Marcello & Hana first met in a language exchange program, he was learning English, and she was learning Italian. Now, in their Milan home, they’re learning the power of the universal language of food. And they’re bringing people together at a table that’s always filled with love. Read on for a story that will warm your heart.
Tell us about yourselves.
Marcello: I work in a bank here in Milan, my background is in stock market trading. I am originally from the island of Sardinia, and I have always loved to cook!
Hana: I have only been in Milan for about a year now, currently I am teaching English to various corporations around the city. I was born and raised in Sonoma, California. There, I was introduced to the concept of good wine, and farm-to-fork eating. My mom was raised on a farm and always taught me to buy local and support our farmers. Because of this we always ate the best quality of food.
I learned at a young age how to marry California cuisine with a Latin twist. My specialty is taking a typical local dish and creating my own version of it while still respecting the tradition behind it.
How did you meet?
Marcello: We met in a language exchange program because Hana decided to move here and needed to learn Italian. I on the other hand wanted to learn English because, you know…I had that typical dream of Wall Street. So we started to talk from a distance. Once we met, we knew we would be together forever.
We both started to cook at a young age, but really began taking it seriously during our college years. Neither of us lived close to our families so we needed to learn how to cook very quickly. But as soon as we started we really began to learn a new world and developed a love of cooking. I’m more creative (sometimes too much so), and Hana likes to follow recipes quite strictly, so together we’re a good team because we complete each other!
Who do you want to EatWith soon?
We would like to try to eat with Valentina in Milan, her dishes look very creative.
What’s your favorite part about hosting?
When that moment comes where people really open their thoughts to you like you are their best friend, even though they just met you for the first time a couple of hours before! And also when they ask you if they can have another round of food 🙂
What are your favorite things to cook?
Marcello: My favorite things to cook are pasta and fish. Those are the two things that I like to eat the most, so I like to try new ways to cook them. Pasta is the essence of Italy and fish is the essence of Sardinia…So when I can cook them together I really put all of my heart into it. Linguine with fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh salmon was the first meal I cooked for Hana when we first met.
Hana: My favorite thing to cook is Mexican food, like chile rellenos and tinga (a chipotle chicken dish), but Marcello is obsessed with my homemade quesadillas. I always make them with fresh handmade tortillas and a side of guacamole. I also love to bake pies, cookies and sweet breads. No matter how far away I am from my family, I know I can always cook one of their recipes and feel like I am home again.