Interview: Talking holiday sides with Chef Donatella Arpaia

The lovely, personable and accomplished chef, restaurateur and Food Network staple Donatella Arpaia is passionate about healthy eating. She encourages others, including her little boy Alessandro, to eat their veggies and enjoy doing it.

Arpaia was originally a corporate attorney who changed career paths and became one of America’s most celebrated chefs. She has bachelor's degree from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. and her juris doctor from the St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York. She studied at the French Culinary Institute and the Italian Culinary Academy.

She opened her first restaurant, Bellini, in 1998 and others soon followed. In 2007, Arpaia and chef Michael Psilakis opened Upper West Side staple Kefi. In fact, in 2009 the pair opened Eos in Miami’s Viceroy Hotel, her first restaurant launched outside of New York. She just opened Prova PizzaBar in Grand Central Station in New York earlier this year.

Chef Arpaia took the time to speak with about the holidays, family traditions, healthy side options, her new partnership with Libby’s foods, why she thinks that people like her to be a judge on cooking programs on the Food Network and more.

See the interview below and learn more about Donatella Arpaia by checking out her website.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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