about cara

introducing chef cara mangini.

Cara’s last name translates loosely to “little eater” in Italian. A sign that she was destined to dedicating her career to food? She thinks so.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the table was the center of her family’s universe. She loved it—as long as it didn’t include microwaved peas and carrots. The memory of this obligatory side dish now serves as fuel for her commitment to making fresh, produced-inspired foods more convenient to buy and more approachable to make at home.

Cara’s interest in best-quality ingredients developed while she lived in Paris and Brooklyn. Her vision for vegetables came into focus while working in the Napa Valley at a farm and in the adjoining kitchen of Farmstead, a renowned farm-to-table restaurant in St. Helena. There, she learned from talented farmers, chefs and winemakers and came to appreciate the value of understanding and collecting produce at its source.

Cara’s food career started with a culinary arts degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. She partnered with acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors, working at the James Beard House and as a sous chef at New York’s Culinary Loft. As a vegetable butcher at Mario Batali’s Eataly, she immersed herself in everything vegetables. There, she discovered a passion for educating customers to select and prepare produce in new and exciting ways.

Cara has traveled and cooked extensively throughout France, Italy and Turkey to research their produce-centered cuisines. In 2012 she moved to Columbus, Ohio and launched Little Eater with a seasonal, pop-up restaurant and packaged vegetable salads sold year-round. She is now the owner and executive chef of Little Eater, a produce-inspired restaurant, and Little Eater Produce and Provisions, an associated local and artisanal foods boutique, in Columbus, Ohio’s historic North Market. She is the author of The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini, published by Workman Publishing April 2016.

Collectively, these food adventures and experiences have formed the foundation of her unique cooking style and vegetable-focused recipes. Her goal is to put vegetables at the center of our plates—on the go and at home—with food that is delicious and healthy, without ever sacrificing flavor and enjoyment.

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Order Cara Mangini’s cookbook The Vegetable Butcher

Marrying the art of butchery with the joy of gorgeous seasonal produce, The Vegetable Butcher is the fresh, inspiring, and essential guide that demystifies the world of vegetables, from exotic crosnes and gnarly celeriac to the amazingly versatile everyday potato. It’s the book that shows exactly how to prepare an artichoke—plus peel a tomato, chiffonade kale, slice kohlrabi into carpaccio, break down a butternut squash, and cut a cauliflower into steaks.

Learn more and order now »