CULTURAL AMBASSADOR NATALINA BOMBINO CAMPAGNOLO
Natalina Bombino Campagnolo: chef, cooking school founder, cookbook author, kids cooking camp founder, food and wine tour hostess, recipe developer, food historian, product influencer, spokesperson, collaborator, wife, Italian Mamma of four. If it has to do with food, specifically authentic Italian recipes passed on through generations of nonnas…it has to do with Natalina.
“We’re proud that Natalina is a Pusateri’s Partner”, says Ida Pusateri. “We are perfectly aligned when it comes to honouring the history of Italian food using fresh, flavourful, high-quality ingredients to create authentic ‘old country’ dishes.
Natalina has created the dessert recipe in this issue of Palate, a mouth-watering ‘Torta Caprese with Modica Chocolate and Pomegranate Glaze’ and she is the hostess for the winners of our upcoming food and wine tour to Italy.
“I feel like I’ve been actively involved in food all my life” says Natalina, “my WHOLE life. My parents emigrated from Southern Italy and settled in the Guelph area. My earliest memories are of hanging around in my father’s Italian Espresso Cafes helping my mom in the kitchen. I still vividly remember her making tray after tray of our most popular dish, authentic Italian Eggplant Parmigianna.”
While her love for food stayed strong over the years, her life focus shifted to getting married and raising a family. Following the birth of their second child, Natalina’s husband was offered a position in Milan. Without much thought, she packed up her family and headed for Italy. If anything, Natalina’s love for authentic family-style Italian cooking grew even stronger and it was there that she had her food eureka moment.
She was determined to fulfil her dream of spreading her Italian food culture. That said, she put her dream on hold as the couple had two more children and after a few years, moved back to Canada. Once her children were in school full time, Natalina got to work. She completed her Chef degree and honed her recipes and her philosophy of “giving people the tools to create simple, authentic, mouth-watering Italian dishes.”
In 2009 she opened her cooking school and held her first event on her 46th birthday. In 2015 she begin leading Mediterranean food and wine tours with a mission to bridge the cultural food gap. In 2017, she launched her first cookbook. And, in 2018 she launched her online cooking school.
This summer and fall, Pusateri’s has been proud to partner with Natalina on a number of initiatives. She has been our guest personality at a number of product and store events, she has contributed recipes online and in Palate (you need to try Natalina’s dessert recipe in this issue of Palate), and she is our hostess and cultural ambassador on the food and wine tour to Southern Italy that was the grand prize in our recent contest.
“This woman is a whirlwind of energy,” says Ida Pusateri, “the energy bunny of the food world. But, most importantly, Natalina and Pusateri’s share the same philosophy around authentic Italian meals. Select what’s in season, pair it with the finest quality ingredients, and create simple, authentic meals that take people’s taste buds on a journey to Italy.”
Continues Natalina, “with so few ingredients in my recipes it’s important, no, its mandatory that you select the best quality ingredients you can find. Olive oils, vinegars, DOP certified canned tomatoes, olives, sardines, etc. don’t have any place to hide in simple authentic recipes. Their quality is what makes them, and the recipes shine.”
When it comes to the world of food Natalina truly is an inspiration. Based just outside of Guelph, Natalina’s passion is inspiring, educating and delighting home cooks with authentic Southern Italian recipes, the finest quality and freshest in-season ingredients and the cooking secrets that have been passed down through generations of nonnas.
See Natalina's recipe for Torta Caprese