Clelia’s interest in food and cooking started as a little girl growing up in Naples, Italy. She enjoyed helping her mother and grandmother prepare the daily meals. Around the age of nine or ten, it became her job to make ravioli for the holiday dinners for the whole family. Clelia would make over four hundred ravioli, all by hand. She liked to develop different fillings for the ravioli, much to the delight of her family.
Growing up, she learned how to make all the typical Italian dishes, but she created her own versions of them. Clelia continues to develop many of her own delicious dishes, just by putting different ingredients, spices, and herbs together. Even at night when making the family meals, she tries to come up with new recipes and use new ingredients.
Clelia first started teaching Italian cooking at the local adult education program in 1978. Her classes were very popular and always sold out. Some of her students used to say that their families would wait at home with great anticipation to taste samples from the class. At the urging of many students, in 1995, she started Clelia’s Cucina Italiana, an award-winning cable TV show that is still airing after almost twenty years. People are always stopping her to say how much they have learned by watching her show.
Among her other achievements, Clelia was a finalist in a Good Morning America cooking contest and had her recipe published in the Good Morning America Cut the Calories cookbook. She was also the winner of a Sheraton menu contest, and her recipe was put on the menu.
Clelia is passionate about her cooking and her Italian heritage. In addition to her television show, she shares her passion by teaching Italian language and culture to students eager to learn about all things Italian from someone who experienced it firsthand.
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