Bio

Rachel Steckler 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. http://www.vincenzoreda.it/from-miami-to-turin-rachel-steckler-okaine/

To listen to some of my music, click here: http://www.rachelokaine.com

Slow Food Miami

Vincenzo Reda

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11 Responses to Bio

  1. Gabriel Key says:

    Hey there,

    If possible, I would like to chat with you via email to hear a bit more about your experiences and successes with relocating from the US to Italy and Torino.

    My wife and I are exploring how to do something similar and are trying to learn from the successes of others.

    Gabriel

  2. Fabio Sirna says:

    Nice blog, and welcome in Torino!

  3. Hello Rachel,
    I’m delighted to have found your blog, and am enjoying the writing and the pictures. Would you like to write for ItalianNotebook.com? We’re a free, brief, fun, daily e-letter about Italy with over 250,000 Notes going out each month, and, we don’t have anyone in Torino area! You would get good publicity for your blog and activities, with more perks being planned. Take a look. I hope you’ll contact us and join the IN community.
    Un caro saluto,
    yolanda maione
    assist. to editor
    ItalianNotebook.com
    Tel: 327 205 8645

  4. Elana says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I too have fallen in love with Tornio! What a magical place! I stumbled across your story from 2010 in the examiner and followed your lead in contacting Gustiamo about an internship. One thing led to another, and now I am in the Bronx visiting them and familiarizing myself with their producers!
    As I look forward to a stage in Torino in March or April, I’m wondering if you have any suggestions. Can I please get in touch with you via email?
    Thank you so much for how you unknowingly affected my life already!!
    -Elana

    • Elana says:

      By the way, I just read the post saying you enjoyed the Tchaikovsky Nutcracker ballet you saw- I am actually a professional ballerina from San Francisco looking to make a career change into food. I’d love to get in touch via email and ask you for some advice. And Beatrice from Gustiamo says “ciao cara!!” 🙂 Grazie mille!!
      -Elana

    • Hello Elana! Thanks for writing. I apologize for the delay…have been traveling around the Pacific Northwest. I will get in touch with you shortly. Torino is an amazing city and so glad that you like it, too!

  5. Hey girl,
    I am an Italian journalist living in Turin. Do you still live here? If yes, we can meet after the holidays for an interview. My e-mail address is: krizia.ribotta@gmail.com
    And, by the way, Happy New Year!

  6. Bill CALDERIN says:

    Hi there!

    I’ve bumped into your blog by chance! I grew up Miami like you. I’ve been living in Turin since 1992, after spending nearly a year in Viterbo. I teach English at FCA. I was wondering if you’re still living in Turin?

    • Hello Bill, Thanks for writing. I lived in Turin for more than 3 years and now reside in Brooklyn, NY. Miss Turin dearly. I taught English in Venaria Reale for a year. Thanks for reaching out and by the way, where are you from in Miami?

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