Our Purpose

Our Purpose Is Simple

To share our love and enthusiasm of our Italian culture and legendary cuisine through culinary adventures and time-honored recipes that inspire and enrich lives of people around the world. 

Meet Pasqualina

Meet Pasqualina, Chef, CNS, MS, CGMC

Pasqualina Raspaolo is a Chef, Nutritionist and the founder and owner of Culinary Genes, LLC. Pasqualina pursued her passion in nutrition, the culinary arts, and genetics and has amassed over 20 years of related training and studies. Her education culminated in a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, a Culinary Degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, and an internship at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, where she worked alongside and learned from some of today’s top chefs. She also completed her Genomic Medicine Practitioner Certification from Genoma International.

She is also a contributing writer for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security, as well as being a contributing recipe developer for various organizations. 

Pasqualina’s Cooking & Baking

Pasqualina puts the same care and love into her creations as she does with her family and friends. Cooking and baking are, of course, family traditions passed down from one generation to the next and her deep-rooted desire and mission is to keep family traditions and recipes alive. She currently blogs about gluten-free cooking and baking, taking traditional family recipes and converting them into gluten-free alternatives. She is currently working on a book series entitled, Pasqualina’s Table, with each series focusing on different Italian traditional specialties. Her laughter is contagious, and each meal’s preparation is a joyful event for all involved, the result of which never strays from its original intent to heal and revitalize. Laughter is something she can’t live without! Pasqualina is passionate about people, and the three L’s – love, laughter, and living… it’s in her DNA!

Our Story

Why do you do what you do?” This is a great question I am often asked and one that is simple to respond to. My “Why” has always been and will forever be “My Family.” I once read a quote that stated, ‘People come into your life for a reason, a season, or lifetime.” It’s so true, and some people become part of the family. Family is not about being related by blood. It’s about people in our lives that express true love, honesty, loyalty, and respect for one another that makes us family. Those who know me recognize how passionate I am about family and traditions.

Italian food is an essential element of the “Italian Experience” for its ability to represent the country and its culture, for its international recognition, attractiveness and deliciousness, and for its incredible ability to generate sharing and storytelling. The culinary arts and traditions have always been a big part of my life and food has always been an integral part of Italian culture. It is often the main topic of conversation because food goes beyond simple nourishment.

Culture & Culinary Traditions

Growing up as an Italian immigrant, I learned to value family, food, and faith from an early age. Culture and culinary traditions are kept alive as my family cooks like they did in Italy with an array of authentic dishes passed from one generation to the next. Our unique and strong ties keep us together. It’s our way of life where every element of the family culture is permeated by simply living the Italian way. It’s a way of life that is cherished and never lost. 

My Studies

I was always interested in nutrition and movement and as a result, I decided to pursue a master of science degree in Human Nutrition and worked for several nutraceutical companies. I also studied under some of the leading experts in the field of functional medicine. Although I loved all of these experiences, what I discovered thought these amazing journey’s is that one thing mattered most to me: keeping my family’s traditions alive through cooking and baking. Somehow, it always came back to food. This realization fueled my desire to attend culinary school to become a chef. I adored every part of culinary school and had the wonderful opportunity to meet some incredibly amazing people. But ,to be honest, it also made me realize that I was already surrounded by and grew up with some of the most amazing chef’s ever… my mamma, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, etc., who also inspired me to share our traditions and culture and as a result, ‘Culinary Traveling Genes Adventures’ was created where our guests get to experience an authentic and traditional culinary experience in Italy, the beautiful country I was born in.

chef school

How It All Began

While in culinary school, some family members and a good friend were diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. They were told that they could no longer consume foods that contained gluten and had to change their eating habits. You could imagine how difficult this must have been for them to hear especially when you have been brought up eating a certain way. This is when I decide to specialize in gluten-free baking and cooking, which was never my intention, but I was determined to do this so that they could continue to enjoy some of their favorite family dishes that they grew up with converted into gluten-free deliciousness. It all began with converting some of my mamma’s traditional recipes, then extended to converting recipes from family members in Italy and the United States. Many hours were spent testing and refining our methods, which became officially known as ‘Kitchen Chemistry’. We began this new journey with a family favorite, mamma’s biscotti (Quaresimali). 

My mamma’s first job when we moved to the United States was working in a bakery. Not only is she an amazing cook, but she is also the most incredible baker. Anyone who has had the pleasure of tasking these little gems know only too well how incredibly delicious they are. They quickly became a hit amongst our family and friends, especially my great nephew’s and nieces, whom officially called them ‘Nonna Gianna’s cookies.’ This inspired us to begin writing cookbooks, a series called ‘Pasqualina’s Table,‘ where we take traditional recipes and convert them into gluten-free alternatives. Our first book is called, ‘Pasqualina’s Table, Our Italian Family Traditions …The Gluten-Free Way.’ We are currently working on our second book, soon to be released, where we focus on desserts, and our third book will be all about pastas and sauces!

Nonna Gianna at 18 years of age

So why Culinary Genes? Another popular question. ‘Culinary’ because of my passion for cooking, baking and sharing my family’s traditions, and ‘Genes’ because I have always been fascinated with nutrigenomics, which is how our food and environment affect our genes. And so….. Culinary Genes was born. You could say it’s in my DNA.

Our adventures and recipes stem from a commitment to keep our family’s recipes and traditions alive that have been passed down through multiple generations. We are excited to share them with the world with the hope that they bring the same joy to your family as they have in ours.

Meet The Culinary Genes Team

We are a team of creators, designers, and explorers. We approach work and play with passion, appreciation, curiosity and, of course, lots of great food and flavors.

Carmine Raspaolo,

Creative Director
Carmine is the Creative Director for Culinary Genes, LLC and Pasqualina’s older brother. Carmine wears many hats in this role, such as: graphic designer, book designer, brand and product designer, photographer, videographer, translator, tourguide and sometimes, entertainer. Carmine is an Actor in New York and he can be seen on both, little and big screen and on stage when time permits. When not pursuing his dream, he can be found helping his little sister pursue hers.
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Roseann Cigna

Administrative Manager
Roseann Cigna is the Administrative Manager for Culinary Genes, LLC. Prior to joining our team, Roseann was an administrator in the Dental field for 25 years. Roseann enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, great food and good laughs! The best part of this job is the excitement and joy that she witnesses from our clients.

Pina Mastrocola,

Manager, Culinary Genes Italia
Pina is the Manager of Culinary Genes Italia and oversees all of our activities and events in Italy, ensuring that our culinary adventures guest experience is a memorable one. She is a successful business owner and the founder of my favorite store in Cortona. Stay tuned for exciting news!
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Carmine Raspaolo, Creative Director

John Doe

Pina Mastrocola, Manager, Culinary Genes Italia

Browse Our Online Store

Feel free to browse our online store where you will find cookbooks, Culinary Traveling Genes Adventures, and coming soon, our ‘Italian Boutique’ offering products directly from Italy.