Food has been a focal point of my life ever since I can remember. I grew up in an Italian family where the kitchen was the nexus of our home. We always had people over, often relatives, cooking, playing cards and sharing meals. I believe my strong work ethic was cultivated at a young age, when I worked at our family’s Italian Market, Bommarito Brothers Co. in Detroit, every Saturday. I would get up at 5am to work with my Dad, Grandfather and Great Auntie. The days were spent behind the meat counter making Italian sausage, grating Parmigiano Reggiano and ringing on our old time cash register-while standing on a milk crate. Many family recipes were shared and collected over the years. Surrounded by loved ones and sharing recipes instilled my love of family traditions. The beauty is having fond memories arise whenever the recipes are re-created.
My life has been an adventure and quite an unexpected journey, taking risks in all areas. These adventures have all become ingredients in creating who I am today. I believe it was our family’s journey to Italy and 13 other countries that opened my eyes to a World full of diverse art, culture and more importantly amazing food. The World was much smaller than expected and soon would become my playground.
My Daddy and I have a saying: “If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space”. After working in the Hotel Industry, I began a new journey and moved to Italy to experience a new view of the World. I enjoyed going to town to photograph all of the beautiful food, pastries and fresh ingredients at the local markets. It was the fresh food that captured my attention with the vibrant colors and vitality. Always sketching and jotting down recipes, it was in Italy that I then realized my love and true passion for food… of course, a love that had been instilled with me since I was a young girl.
My decision was made to follow my heart and begin on another journey . I moved to the food mecca of the World, New York City, where I trained with the best in the industry in Culinary Arts. Doors began to open and I became a Pastry Cook at the world renown Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, a Freelance Artist for Martha Stewart, had television guest appearances on Martha Stewart Living, Food Network Cake Challenges and Sugar Rush.
After many years of creating Wedding Cakes and teaching Culinary classes, I had a strong desire to inspire and connect with people on a different level. It was time to share my vast knowledge of a better way of eating lifestyle. I took another risk and left my wedding cake business in pursuit of a passion to share my “Eat Well. Live Fit.” message.
I “walk the talk” of Eating Well and know that I am at my best when teaching, connecting and sharing cooking techniques in front of an audience. I am fully present and thrive on the attentiveness of my students. My heart is singing and I know I am fulfilling my passion and changing lives in the process.
It is a blessing on how my childhood memories of my family cooking together, parallels with my sharing of food today.
Michelle Bommarito is an accomplished Chef, well -known Wedding Cake Designer, Food Coach and Motivational Speaker; popular TV/Radio personality, inspiring others to eat well and sharing her culinary techniques. Her work includes being a chef at the historic Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, for Martha Stewart and as a Personal Chef for Athlete Michael Jordan. Throughout the 2000s, she appeared on Martha Stewart and Food Network Challenges nine times. By request, she travels extensively-both nationally and internationally to teach “Eating Well” Culinary Demonstrations, Motivational Speaking Engagements, Inspirational Wedding Cake Design Workshops and to judge competitions.
Michelle is known to whirl about the room, using Italian gesticulations, whipping up a variety of “super power foods” for an audience eager to sample and learn. Thrumming with energy, her compelling instruction empowers people of all types. She is passionate about eating right, inspiring to improve health and encouraging to explore the culinary arts.
Her goal: To make a difference in the fight against obesity and disease… More importantly to remind people to take better care of “you”.
Food Network Appearances
First Wedding Cake Challenge on Food Network
– February 2004
Holiday Cake Challenge
– March 2005
Sugar Rush -Double Take Episode
– September 2006
Wedding Cake Surprise Challenge
– October 2006
Surprise Sweet Sixteen Challenge
– February 2007
Mystery Client Challenge
– February 2007
Tag Team Nursery Rhyme Challenge
– March 2008
Miley Cyrus Sweet 16 Challenge
– October 2008
Last Cake Standing Challenge
– January 2009
Sex and the City Cake Challenge
– January 2010
Graduate of The Institute of Culinary Education 1997, Blue Ribbon Status (formerly, Peter Kumps New York Cooking School) Manhattan, NY.
University of Michigan 1990 with honors, BSA in Marketing Management and a Minor in Psychology.