My name is Viola Buitoni,

I was born in Rome and reared in Perugia, Italy, in a family whose veins were of pasta and chocolate was the blood that ran along them.

Following an idyllic upbringing in a family estate immersed in a life that moved to the clock of seasonal food, I moved to New York City in 1985 for a business degree. Soon after school, I found myself drawn back into the genetic and ingrained passion for food.

After a few years honing skills in professional kitchens, I poured my passion into a catering kitchen and fine foods shop in the heart of NY's Madison Avenue. When I sold the shop, I followed my heart to San Francisco to start a family with my longtime love. 

It was motherhood that shaped my next professional step. My boy's birth crystallized the significance of the table in forming meaningful bonds to family, community, environment and it fostered a desire to share my knowledge and experience with as many people as would listen.

Since 2010, I have been teaching Bay Areans to cultivate relationships at the market, by the stove and around the table and to make Italian cooking part of their every day lives.

My classes are filled with unfussy dishes built on mindfully purveyed ingredients and the agricultural bounty of Northern California is continuously dancing with the best Italian food imports. 

Since 2015, I have taken my teachings back to their source. Together with my sister Giulia, I guide small groups through the Italian food pathways that have shaped my culinary passions.