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My name is Sue, and I am a 23 year old living in Maine.

My love of food, history, and culture, is the culmination of many experiences. As the descendent of Irish and Italian immigrants, family gatherings have always seemed to revolve around meals. From a young age I have associated food with culture and heritage.

I have been lucky enough to be able to travel often in my young life, and never did a trip lack strong personality in its cuisine. In high school I traveled to France for 10 days, spending 5 of those with a family and being fed amazing home cooked meals. During my senior year of high school I went to Ireland for Thanksgiving with my mom and some friends to visit my sister who was studying abroad in Cork. The highlight of the trip was eating Thanksgiving dinner cooked by the Ballymaloe culinary school. In college, I spent 4 glorious months living in Ascoli Piceno - a small town in the Marches region of Italy. There, I traveled to several different regions of Italy, ate remarkable meals, and learned to cook for myself in my little apartment in the traditional Italian style. More recent trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico have shown me very different, but no less delicious, methods of Caribbean cooking.

Cucina DiBella is my personal cooking project. In an attempt to enhance my cooking skills, I am going to learn to cook my way through the regional cuisine of various countries. My goal is to show the vast differences in food from one region to the next and learn about the factors that influence and shape regional cooking styles.

This blog would also not be complete without my husband, Ryan, who is serving as sous chef, food photographer, and food taster for this project.