A writer and chef specializing in cocktail parties, intimate dinners and recreational cooking classes.


A lover of the culinary arts for over 30 years, Maria Reina made the bold decision in 2007 to walk away from a 23 year career in corporate and retail management and head to the kitchen. She thus embarked on formal culinary training in New York City at the International Culinary Center (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute). Maria’s program of study began in New York City and then continued at the prestigious Italian cooking school, ALMA-La Scuola Internzionale di Cucina Italiana, in Parma. There, she learned to cook regional Italian dishes and studied the wines and the regional history of Italy. Maria then went on to apprentice at Ristorante Reale, a beautiful two-Michelin star restaurant located in the resort town of Rivisondoli in the mountains of Abruzzo, about an hour and a half from Rome. After completing her apprenticeship, Maria returned to the U.S. and received her Grande Diplôme from the ICA.

Just after graduation she joined Tarry Lodge, the highly acclaimed restaurant in the Bastianich group, located in Port Chester, New York, as part the original opening team. After an exhilarating time in the Tarry Lodge kitchen she decided to strike out on her own and create Bella Cucina Maria, Ltd. in 2009 and she hasn't looked back.

Chef Maria works primarily as a private chef, caterer and cooking class teacher in Manhattan and Westchester County, NY.  


Click here to read my blog about my time in Italy as a culinary student and apprentice!

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For more information please contact us at: bellacucinamaria@gmail.com
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