Who We Are
Cinzia Rascazzo is Founder and Director of Stile Mediterraneo Cooking School Puglia Italy. She is also a licensed Tour Operator.
Being born and raised in Puglia, a region where it is “normal” to eat tasty & healthy food and to have a relaxed lifestyle, Cinzia always gave these things for granted and thought it would be the same everywehere else.
After living in other countries for about 15 years, Cinzia started missing the Italian quality of life and tasty and healthy food she had left in Puglia Italy.
Also, living abroad made her realize that the so-called Italian cuisine available abroad, was different from the authentic cuisine Italians were used to in Italy.
Also, because of the language barrier, international travellers could not fully experience the real Italian culture and life, the same way locals do. They needed to use tourist guide books or translators.
In 2005 Cinzia quit her finance job in New York /London and came back to Puglia to start the Stile Mediterrano Cooking School. She wanted people to learn first hand from a LOCAL EXPERT, who also speaks fluent English, the authentic and beautiful Italy.
Cinzia’s hands-on culinary and wine tours are a unique way for international people to learn about the authentic culture of Italy through its cuisine and wine.
Moreover, lots of medical research has proved that the Mediterranean cuisine and lifestyle of Puglia are among the healthiest in the world. Puglia’s ancient cuisine had never been written down but always handed down from mother to daughter, for centuries.
Through her classes and tours, Cinzia’s goal is to share and promote this simple, tasty and healthy ancient cuisine and contribute to the improvement of people’s health and wellbeing.
Finally, lots of information about Puglia and Italy available online in English was written by non Italian people. Through her blog, Cinzia wants to become the FIRST ITALIAN promoting the real culture and cuisine of Italy, online, in English and abroad.
In addition to the School, Cinzia also started the Extra Virgin Olive oil Movement as a way to promote EVOO and its benefits for health and longevity.
Cinzia trained with some of the best Italian chefs, is an Italian wine sommelier also trained at the Ecole du vin in Bordeaux France and a certified extra virgin olive oil taster. She also works as consultant for several Italian food & wine producers.
Cinzia has a degree in Economics from Bocconi University, a 2-year MBA in General Management from Harvard Business School, Boston. She worked for many years in Marketing & Finance in Milan, London, New York (Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft). She speaks Italian, French, Spanish and English and has a 10-year degree in Classic Piano.
Favorite food: her famous pear jam made with her parents’ organic pears. And her famous ricotta cake, made with no butter and no olive oil.
Favorite ingredient: very fruity extra virgin olive oil. Cinzia is crazy about olive oil!
Dr. Marika Rascazzo is a Cardiologist and author of the e-book (The Cuisine of Southern Italian Women: Mediterranean Secrets for a Healthy & Happy life).
She strongly believes in the benefits of the Mediterranean cuisine and lifestyle to prevent lots of health diseases. These benefits have been demostrated by lots of medical research and case studies.
Stile Mediterraneo Cooking School was inspired by Dr Rascazzo’s principles and e-book.
She thinks that people are now getting “scared” of food and are having a very unbalanced diet, following wrong eating trends. In her ebook, Dr Rascazzo wants to empower people through knowledge, so that they eat well and live well. She explains how important it is to have a balanced diet: people should not eliminate carbs or fats, but they should eat the GOOD carbs, fats and proteins. She thinks that food is something we should derive happiness from. However, only the right food can make us happy and healthy, in the short and long term.
She strongly supports the use of freshest seasonal ingredients, extra virgin olive oil and very little salt as a way to prevent most cardiovascular risks. However she believes that choosing the right ingredients is only half of the process. Also the preparation method is extremely important to make our food not only tasty but also healthy and rich in antioxidants.
Finally lifestyle is very important: she thinks that eating well, cooking with friends and having a balanced lifestyle are the secrets to a longer and happier life.
She only teaches special classes at set dates. These special classes are focused on the health benefits of the Mediterranean cuisine of Puglia and extra virgin olive oil.