Cara’s last name means “little eater” in Italian which she thinks means her life was always destined to focus on food. She is the chef/owner of littleeater salads and littleeatery in Columbus, Ohio, as well as a writer and teacher committed to putting vegetables in the center of the American plate.
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cara didn’t always love her veggies as much as she now says we should. She still disdains the thought of microwaved frozen peas and carrots. This memory serves as her motivation to expose the very best of fresh, seasonal produce. Living in Paris, Brooklyn and the Napa Valley developed her taste and interest in quality food. Cara’s 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 understand produce at its source.
Cara’s professional, food-focused endeavors started with a culinary arts degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. She then 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 and taught her customers there to select, break down, and prepare their produce for optimal flavor. Cara has traveled extensively throughout France, Italy and Turkey to research their produce-centered cuisines. Altogether, these experiences have formed her unique cooking style and the development of her vegetable-focused recipes. She insists that a vegetable-centered cuisine can be exciting and delicious.
Before her pursuits in food, Cara attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and wrote about fashion for the Chicago Tribune and travel for Condé Nast Traveler. She spent nearly 10 years as an executive in the New York beauty and fashion industry.