Melissa Pellegrino & Matteo Scialabba
Our initial shared interest in Italian food and culture brought us together while we were living in Italy. I was working in Rome, apprenticing in an antique furniture restoration shop, at the same time as Melissa was attending culinary school in Florence and working in a small trattoria. Our weekends were spent exploring the Italian countryside in search of authentic cuisine and local wines. This discovery of true regional Italian cooking sparked a passion within that began our culinary journey that continues today.
After graduating together from The Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, with stints at the Sullivan Street Bakery and the Blue Ribbon Bakery, we returned to Italy. We spent some time learning about bread and pizza making at a family bakery in a small village outside of Rome, with a wood fired oven, and from there we spent a year traveling around the country and working on organic farms and cooking in their kitchens. This discovery of farm fresh cuisine exposed our palettes to the natural goodness of seasonal, locally grown ingredients that would forever change our approach towards cooking, leading us to researching and writing The Italian Farmer’s Table and The Southern Italian Farmer’s Table.
Bufalina, our wood fired pizzeria in Guilford Connecticut, is a culmination of all of our culinary experiences and achievements, and where we aspire to bring an authentic taste of Italy to all who walk through our doors. We also keep our recipe and writing skills sharp with frequent contributions to Cucina Italiana and Fine Cooking Magazine.