I really love cooking! It has been a major passion of mine since I was young. I would watch our Dad and Grandma prepare big holiday dinners for the family. It was only natural that I decided to become a chef when I got out of high school and went to the Culinary Institute. But the curriculum during our junior year gave me the opportunity to travel to Italy, so of course I was ready to go! All the arrangements were made and I even received a scholarship to cover our room and board while I was there! When we got there we took a bus from the airport to a small town where I was going to be staying. I was very happy because the countryside there was simply amazing. All of us went to the Vineyards so I could smell the grapes in the heat and spent our nights walking around there. But when we got to the place where we would be staying, some of our hopes were shattered because it was a small villa without any form of heating or air conditioner! The people we were staying with said that I was fortunate because they had just put in plumbing the year before. I felt as though I had traveled back in time a thousand years and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle our long stay in this place. I recognize in America, we take things for granted like having heating and cooling everywhere we go. Apparently it looks like in several foreign countries, it’s a luxury that is reserved for the wealthy or for businesses that need temperature control to operate. I love having the opportunity to see a different area of the world and learning how to cook some of the finest dishes in Italy, however I was very happy to return home!