Buon Appetito!

Posted online: January 2010

fm-buonBocca Divina’s Alana Guinn brings home-cooked meals to your door.

“My food is all about the sensuality of taste, texture, freshness, and flavor,” says chef Alana Guinn, owner of Bocca Divina, Santa Barbara’s newest gourmet food company. And now, her heavenly raviolis, ethereal tagliatelli, savory sauces, rich quiches, and perfectly balanced vinaigrettes are handmade twice a week and available for pickup or  delivery to your doorstep, providing a healthy solution to the age-old what-tomake-for-dinner predicament.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking,” says Guinn, a painter and former costume and set designer who applies her artistic flare to everything she creates. “For me, it’s meditation.” What started as an interest became a culinary awakening when, at 17 years old, she met an Italian woman in her hometown of Toronto who taught her to craft whisper-thin pasta and authentic sauces. Since then, Guinn has traveled extensively and lived abroad in such places as Paris, Bali, and England, collecting recipes and culinary secrets along the way. “There are so many foods to learn about,” she says, “and travel is the best way to expose yourself to these.”

However, “home cooking seems rare these days,” says Guinn. “People’s lifestyles have forced them to give  up dining together, which is the glue that keeps us connected.” So last year, when friends began asking her to make pasta for their families on busy nights, Guinn recognized the need for wholesome, home-delivered meals and set out to supply decadent food made with healthful ingredients. “So in my way,” she says with a smile, “I am able to offer busy people fresh food that they can enjoy at a table with people they love.”

fm-buon2Guinn’s weekly creations (from $13) are made with seasonal produce and organic eggs, butter, and cheese and range from entrees such as goat cheese and walnut raviolis with fresh basil pesto to smoked-paprika macaroni with homemade Bolognese sauce to oh-so- French quiches ($38), including asparagus and ham or crab and spinach. “One of my favorite meals is the sweet potato-pecorino agnolottis with brown butter and crispy sage served with a salad of fresh escarole and endive sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and my tangy balsamic vinaigrette,” says Guinn. “Pour the Chien 2008 Edelzwicker, Santa Barbara County, and you have either a simple family-style meal or a stylish dinner party.”

For more information or to sign up for Bocca Divina’s handmade weekly offerings, visit boccadivina.com.

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