Rachel Steckler O’Kaine was born and raised in North Miami Beach, Florida; not too far from Laurenzo’s—the famous Italian market. She is a music graduate of the University of North Texas and University of Miami. A couple of years ago she decided to study at Le Cordon Bleu Miami to pursue her passion in the culinary field and shortly thereafter began to volunteer for Slow Food Miami where she also served as Director of Events. Before graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Rachel staged at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, Michael’s Genuine with James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz and later with Chef Kyra White, co-founder of Slow Food Miami.
Rachel was selected to serve as a delegate by Slow Food USA for Terra Madre 2008, held every two years in Turin, Italy. Upon graduating from Le Cordon Bleu,“I found myself in seventh heaven. It was my first trip to Italy and when I entered the Salone del Gusto I was baptized by an Italian tomato.”
While working with Slow Food Miami, Rachel co-founded Mise en Place Personal Chef Services with the vision of creating menus that were fresh, local and seasonal. She worked with organic farmer Margie Pikarski of Bee Heaven Farm in South Florida by offering cooking classes on her farm to CSA (community supported agriculture) members and created original and flavorful gluten and dairy free menus for Whole Foods Market in Pinecrest, Florida.
One year later, Rachel decided to follow her heart and relocate to Turin, Italy to study Italian and immerse herself in the food culture. The region of Piedmont is rich in culinary history and very well known for its wine. Rachel recently completed a stage with master chocolatier Silvio Bessone in Santuario di Vicoforte.
It goes without saying that the enchantment continues especially after having the opportunity to visit the cantinas of Fontanafredda in Serralunga D’Alba and Borgogno in Barolo. “I discovered that I just love the smell of a cantina, where wine sleeps in barrels!”
Thank you Vincenzo. I am humbled to say the least to be on your homepage. Sono riconoscente.
To listen to some of my music, click here: