In the 25 years since Alisa Barry founded her award-winning artisan food company, Oprah has twice named Bella Cucina one of her Favorite Things. Barry remains owner and CEO, but her business card reads “creative director” because creating is what energizes her. She is at once entrepreneurial, expressive, and adventurous.
55. There’s something about the number five. I feel like magic is going to happen.
On my nightstand
A lamp. And flowers, always flowers.
If I were a cocktail
Negroni Sbagliato. Sbagliato means “mistaken.” Sometimes, I feel a little weird in the world. How do you take your oddities and make them into a combination of something really beautiful, tasty, and delicious?
One bag, two days, secret destination
Everything black. A good piece of jewelry. A white blouse. Good pairs of shoes—one heel, one comfortable. A cashmere scarf.
Olive-oil organic popcorn with our wild oregano and sage salt. I buy both blue and yellow from Arrowhead Mills and mix them.
I apprenticed with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and became the head cook at her Cafe Fanny. Working there helped establish the food philosophy I still live by today: Source seasonal products. Cook simply. Let the ingredients shine.
Elements of a summer gathering at your home
A glass of Prosecco to start, then rosé with dinner. An antipasti board with some Bella Cucina products. I’ll probably roast a fruit, like a plum or apples. Maybe some nuts and jam and local cheeses. We’ll eat outside, maybe grill and have fresh salads. I’m probably barefoot—wearing something light and white and some necklaces.
This article appears in our July 2019 issue.