published bySarah Filippi-Field|December 18, 2019|magazine|0|
Robert Pirello had the wild idea of doing a healthy cooking show with his wife and Christina Cooks was born in 1997. Robert is the flaxseed that unifies the Christina Cooks empire, which includes an award-winning PBS television series, eight books, healthy travel tours, cooking classes, and a worldwide following. He encourages her to dream big, which has paid off. The mission of this dynamic duo is to help people improve their health and carbon footprint by eating more mindfully.
Christina Pirello's culinary passion can be traced back to her Irish-Italian family in New Jersey, where the kitchen was the center of domestic life. His mother was ahead of her time: using the freshest ingredients, recycling, and alternative health.
Christina's first grocery job was in a cafeteria in the hotel restaurant where her father worked as a butcher. They reprimanded her for spilling coffee on a customer but couldn't fire her because of her father, so she was demoted to vegetable washing for three months. Christina wanted to be a chef, but it was a time when women didn't have the same opportunities as men in the cooking industry.
When she wouldn't stop, the chef tried to talk her out of gutting chickens for three months. Christina had already rebelled by becoming a vegetarian at fourteen. “My father unknowingly put me on the path to veganism. He had the opportunity to work in a slaughterhouse and couldn't do it; he could not kill innocent animals, I will never forget his words. His vulnerability sealed the deal for me, and I was done with the meat. I will always be grateful to him for that."
He did not like the work of the chickens; she persevered. Eventually, her determination so impressed the chef that he taught her everything from making sauces to baking. But until then, Christina didn't want to pursue a career in the food industry; He enjoyed eating processed junk food and decided the University of Miami was the place to go for his bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts.
His artistic interest is evident in everything from his collection of Italian espresso cups to the eccentric paintings that adorn the walls of the Pirellos' quaint Philadelphia row home. Christina pays attention to detail and finds treasure in almost everything. But in Miami, she hasn't yet embraced food as her creative medium.
Everything changed at the age of 26 when Christina was diagnosed with leukemia. His prognosis was not promising: he had nine months to live. Coming from a family where most people do not live past sixty-six, she did not turn to them for encouragement.
A dear friend asked you to meet his friend who claimed to know how food cures cancer. Her boyfriend, Robert Pirello, introduced Christina to macrobiotics and a plant-based diet and later proposed to her. She said yes!" to him for an incredible personal and professional partnership.
Despite their perks, Christina quickly learned that plant-based foods are often served up as bland and unappealing. He returned to his culinary talents to create delicious things and combined this with a second master's degree in food science and nutrition.
His nine months of life became nine months in "spontaneous regression". Her cancer was in remission eighteen months after her diagnosis. Rather than just accepting it as a miracle, Christina became a vegan macrobiotic chef in 1988 to help save others. A lifelong athlete, Christina took it upon herself to win this challenge and prepare healthy food that would impress everyone, even Italian grandmothers!
In its first year, the PBS Christina Cooks TV Show aired in sixty-nine viewerships (twelve is considered good). The chef's delicious recipes, wacky sense of humor and quirky personality earned her a 1998 Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy Award. She didn't even know she was going to be nominated; Her show's producers nominated her.
She never applied again, she said, because one Emmy was enough. His most valuable prize is the emails he receives every day from people about the positive impact he has had on their health.
Christina Cooks will be relaunched in January 2020. The main difference from season one is that Christina is now an even stronger vegan. The show has always been vegan, but in the past you weren't allowed to "impose your views" on the show's staff. Now he will only buy vegan food for the crew.
Christina understands that veganism is about more than just eating healthy. Even if you don't take care of your health, take care of the future world for your children and grandchildren.
For Christina, veganism is the beginning of compassion, not the end. It extends security to all areas of life and tries to live with as few paper products, organic detergents, etc. as possible with as little waste as possible. Robert wholeheartedly shares the lifestyle.
The Pirellos work well together as Robert also comes from a large Italian family and cares about health, animals and the environment. He has the business acumen and marketing know-how while she has the culinary enthusiasm and experience. Both love healthy travel.
At eighteen, Christina accompanied her younger brother and his friends on a trip to Europe and at the end of the trip spontaneously decided to live in Italy for nine months. He's loved it ever since. Robert made his first experiences in Italy at the age of fifty.
Now she and Robert organize group trips to countries like Italy, Croatia and Spain. Guests stay in historic villas, enjoy healthy meals, explore cultural sites and meet local people. Robert cooks breakfast (his morning meal is a feast) and Christina cooks lunch or dinner; They also go to restaurants for some meals. Everything served in the villas is vegan, but people can order whatever they want in the restaurants.
There's something about eating healthy in a new place that changes people, he says. Three days later, even “meat-eating” spouses are asking about going vegan, despite no pressure being put on them. Christina credits the show's success to the fact that travel broadens her perspectives on the world and other cultures. The owner of a popular Philly steakhouse took a Pirello-led trip and went vegan for the entire two weeks. If he can do it, anyone can!
The multiple efforts of the Pirellos are a testament to the power of tasty vegan food; You can build bridges and change lives.
Christina is a member of the AVS Speakers Bureau. Visitcristinacocineros.com. The new season of Christina Cooks begins at WHYY in Philadelphia, Christina's local marketSaturday, January 11 at 11:30 a.m. M
Sarah Filippi-Field, AVS 2nd VP, is currently studying for a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Erfurt in Germany. Sarah is an accomplished violinist and enjoys going for walks with her father.