If Da Vinci was a Foodie

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Bee and The Striped Tablecloth!10922599_805966159486627_5494142041684558663_n

My name is Isabella, most people call me Bella or Bella Bee, so I am going to go by Bee on here.

I am currently in year three of five at college dual majoring in Food Science and Technology and Hospitality Tourism Management. I want to take this first post just to introduce myself to you and hopefully communicate why I am the way I am and why I have decided to join the world of food bloggers.


Let’s start with my family.

I was born in northeast Ohio in a suburb of Cleveland. I am child number three of four, with two older brothers and a little sister. I have a wonderful mother and father (let’s be real its mom and dad) and we moved to a nice home out in the country in northern Virginia when I was 3, where we have lived ever since.

I come from a Puerto Rican and Sicilian household, so I have grown up surrounded by loud music and really amazing food filled with garlic (on both sides).  My dad’s mother (Grandma) used to own a Victorian tea room, which she ran for over a decade. (Around this time I was a little kid…let’s say 5 or 6). Grandma’s tea room always smelled like lemon and almonds (mixed with a little bit of Giorgio Armani perfume). Walking into the tea room as a little girl was like walking into a storybook, think of every stereotype of a small girl having a tea party with her stuffed animals, think of the Mad Hatter’s tea party.Tea room

Grandma’s tearoom was magical. You would walk into this brick building on a small, cold square up in Ohio and the inside was like a sunny day filled with lace, china and powdered sugar.


cafe-de-la-plaza.jpgMy mom’s dad (Papi) has been involved in the hospitality industry for as long and I can remember. My Papi was hired to run a resort that was going bankrupt and put it in the black in 10 months, with no formal training. He has also been the brains behind a few really good restaurants in Puerto Rico (to the point where the local competition is copy catting his recipes and he now has to redo his menu to keep people interested)

Both Grandma and Papi are amazing cooks, each with a capacity to host weddings and family events and they have inspired me in my walk through food.

In all honesty…the real heroine is my mom.12244840_934946099921965_5746493765371895867_o

My mom is probably the best person you will ever meet. She is so creative in the kitchen and she has taught me how to learn.

She is an amazing cook and has always encouraged me as I have tested my cooking techniques and as I learned how to cook. We would go out to eat and after, we would try and figure out what ingredients were in each dish. Sometimes we would go home and try to recreate the dishes, and sometimes we made them even better.

So that is a small intro to my crazy and wonderful family.

What about influence?

My main influences include Cooks Illustrated magazine and PBS Create. I grew up without cable, satellite or anything of that nature. All of the cooking shows I watched were on PBS: Baking with Julia, Cooks Country and America’s Test Kitchen. I would be sure to have my homework and chores done each weekday around 5pm, so I would not miss any of my shows. I loved how Americas Test Kitchen explained the chemistry of what is happening to your food as you cook it. I love that they use chemistry to make recipes foolproof and determine the best treatment of your food. These shows would eventually lead me to choose food science as my current field of study…and why I want to write this blog 🙂

Leonardo Da Vinci was an artist known for mixing art and science to his advantage. He is still one of my biggest inspirations, I wish I could ask him questions and pick his brain. That is one of the reasons cooking has become such a passion of mine. It is the perfect way for me to mix art and science. I think that culinary art it truly the only type of art you can experience with ALL 5 senses. (One cannot taste a painting) and the use of science to make the most of what we have to work with is something admirable.

So, welcome! I hope you enjoy this quest I want to take as I am figuring out college, cooking and my career. (Mixed with my family, friends and values) I hope along the way we find new restaurants and ideas and lots of laughs and good times.  I want to push myself to be as honest with you all as I can, so in return, please know I am new at all of this.

Here’s to the start of new adventures!