For Elisa Gambino, her love of authentic Italian food comes so very naturally. During the 15 years she lived in Italy, she savored the best but it was not until she returned to Italy in 2002, after a five year absence, that she learned to make the best from a famed Italian family whose legacy is served in Rome's finest restaurants.
Earlier, as an Emmy Award-winning field producer for CNN, not even working in combat zones or covering revolutions in faraway locales could deter her passion for Italian food. "While I was working in the most inhospitable of places, I often cooked for my colleagues," says Elisa, now owner of Via Elisa. "I always traveled with a full supply of Italian foods and whenever possible, I cooked pasta in my hotel room on a small hotplate."
"In Amman, Jordan, during the 1991 Gulf War, I took over the hotel kitchen and in one evening, I cooked three different pasta dishes for 45 colleagues. I believe that good food can be a source of comfort and I always tried to make difficult situations less threatening by providing a delicious meal at the end of some very bad days," says Elisa.
In 1999, together with her husband and their two daughters, Elisa began a search for the kind of food she had loved while growing up in Italy. The effort included several trips back to Rome, where her parents and sister still live, to study pasta making, shop for pasta-making equipment and line up suppliers of authentic Italian ingredients.
Those bad days in Bosnia and Iraq, South Africa, Somalia and Kuwait are a world away now. Elisa’s passion for pasta prompted her to open a one-of-a-kind operation in Atlanta called Via Elisa Fresh Pasta. Her pasta production facility began operation in September 2002 and her hand-formed pasta was offered in many of Atlanta's finest restaurants and in all of Whole Foods Markets in the southeast. In 2006, with the same passion that drove Elisa to study pasta making, she created a line of authentic Italian tomato sauces. Elisa wanted her customers to be able to serve her fresh pasta with the same simple sauces that she enjoyed in Italy. The sauce business grew nationally and in October 2009, Elisa sold her pasta business to an Atlanta-based bakery and she now devotes her time to making sauces that are the perfect match for any pasta.
"My pasta sauces are the answer for people who like good food but have little time to prepare it and who are tired of eating food that is called "real" Italian but is, in reality, an overdone imitation. In just minutes, you can now enjoy a wonderful, authentic Italian meal."
Via Elisa sauces are made with the finest domestic and imported ingredients. Via Elisa uses only plum tomatoes imported directly from Italy, Italian extra virgin olive oil and fresh vegetables.
Her dream of real Italian food in stores throughout the country is far from the wars, demonstrations and riots that she covered as a field producer based in Rome and Moscow for CNN. What that means is that Americans are now the beneficiaries of not only the same passion that prompted Elisa to take over a hotel kitchen in Jordan, but also her simple yet eloquent pasta mission: "To give everyone a meal worth remembering."
Via Elisa • Telephone: (404) 605 0668 • Fax: (404) 605 0449