Viola Buitoni is a native Italian US based professional with 30 years of multifaceted experience in the field of Italian food in New York and San Francisco. She was born in Rome and reared in Perugia, part of the 6th generation of Italy’s premier pasta producers.
She moved to NYC for a college degree in 1985 and soon found herself drawn back by her lifelong passion. After a few years training in high-end free-standing and hotel restaurant kitchens and dining rooms, she started a home-based catering operation which grew into an acclaimed Madison Avenue’s retail food shop and production kitchen.
In 2004 she moved to San Francisco to start a family with her longtime love. After a few years of full time motherhood, she re-engaged as a culinary educator specialized in teaching Italian cooking to passionate home cooks.
For 10 years Viola has been the resident Italian instructor at 18 Reasons in San Francisco. In January 2018, in partnership with The Civic Kitchen SF, she launched “Italy by Ingredient” a monthly workshop focusing on the use of ingredients from the most humble to the complex in Italian cooking. She serves as the food advisor to the Italian Consulate General and Cultural Institute in San Francisco and is an independent chef and brand ambassador for food focused events. She leads culinary tours and retreats in Italy and California. As part of the Good Food Awards, she co-chairs the newly launched Grain category. Viola writes about what moves her in the kitchen on her blog and in the new column Fresh in missionlocal.org.
She believes that from our kitchens, we can make the world a better place. By cooking good food at the intersection of Italian kitchen culture and California agriculture, she teaches people to enjoy and value food and understand its critical role to the overall well being of our communities.