chef, mother, outdoor lover

Emma is a mother, culinary expert, and entrepreneur, known for empowering people to embrace home cooking with simple recipes using local, seasonal ingredients. A first-generation Italian-Jewish-American, her home is infused with the flavors and languages of her heritage.

She is the author of Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors and Seasonal Family Almanac: Recipes, Rituals, and Crafts to Embrace the Magic of the Year

With her husband Bobby, she co-founded La Buena Onda, a boutique hostel and farm-to-table café in Nicaragua, followed by Firelight Camps, a renowned glamping destination in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, unceded Gayogo̱hó:nǫˀ territory (where she lives with her family).

With a background in food studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Emma has worked to support and build farm-to-city distribution networks with the McKnight Foundation (at Cornell University), as a Fulbright Scholar with the Movimiento de Canastas Comunitarias in Ecuador, with the Majora Carter Group in the Bronx, as a CSA manager and farmer at Millstone Farm in Connecticut with the Betsy & Jessie Fink Foundation, with the White Dog Cafe Foundation in Philadelphia, and the Food and Agriculture Organization in Kenya. For over a decade, Emma has applied her comprehensive understanding of food systems and sourcing to her work as a culinary instructor, recipe developer, and food blogger.

Emma appeared as a top finalist and “fan favorite” on Food Network Star Season 10, and has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Epicurious, Martha Stewart, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes, Men’s Journal, and Jetsetter.

Emma offers “a refreshing take on ancient wisdom, mixed with clever new ways to embrace family life.”

Author of Everyday is Sunday and Instant Family Meals

book emma

for virtual or live cooking demos and classes, events, appearances, and other partnerships
let’s collab!

I’ve always been enchanted by food. The kind that can quickly be traced to a person. The kind bred with love and soul. Mamma’s tomatoes on the vine, which she planted for our little hands to seek and grasp. A farmers’ carrots and apples piled high in crates at the market. A neighbor stooping alongside the road, collecting herbs in her basket.

Ingredients tell stories. They awaken dormant memories in our bones or form new ones. They connect us to our communities, local and far-flung. They show us how to eat with the seasons.

As a first-generation American and an avid adventurer, food has always oriented me to where I am, where I come from, and who I am becoming. Food is my compass, and cooking is my favorite way to guide my children.

With every ingredient we greet and collect - from wild goldenrod to fresh eggs - and every simple dish we make - from roast chicken to pesto gnocchi - we remember how to celebrate our place in this grand home called Earth. And we feast to give thanks!


“Emma’s recipes are uncomplicated and easy-to-follow, using simple ingredients and clever techniques to create mouthwatering meals that go far beyond store-bought hot dogs and s'mores. Emma’s fervor for both food and nature is infectious.”

Nicole Gaffney
Blogger and Food Network Star Season 10