I met Chef Jenna when our friend MJ- invited us to a Wine Tasting dinner at Amore’ Trattoria Italiana in Grand Rapids. It was an amazing dinner with Italian Wine Masters- sharing their organic wines… and the food was Incredible. We met the proprietors Mauricio and Jenna Arcidiacono- a young couple that opened this charming restaurant nearby our house. The Rest is History!
On this week’s Life in Bloom- Romantic Flowers Episode- Jenna joins me in the kitchen at home- where we create Rose- Infused Vodka- and we mix it up with Rose Spritzers and talk about Italian Traditions and break out the Flower Crowns! No matter what or when Chef Jenna and I meet up – it’s always Fun- with lots of Laughs!
Jenna and Mauricio – met in San Francisco- where they both worked in an Italian Restaurant “Mona Lisa” – they fell in love and married- and Mauricio took Jenna to live with his family back in Italy- Romantic… yes… but while Mauricio would go off to work – Newlywed Jenna stayed at home with his Mother- who spoke no English- and Jenna – No Italian. Quickly the Mother realized she would communicate to her new Daughter-in-law through cooking- and began to teach the young Jenna- Authentic Northern Italian Cooking- as a form of communication… Again- the Rest is History!
The couple moved back to Grand Rapids MI- Jenna’s home town started a family and a quaint Authentic Northern Italian Restaurant- Amore’ Trattoria Italiana- Amore’ for short! Now- let’s discuss the food- quite remarkably the finest Lasagna- I’ve ever eaten…As a family we have Jenna’s Lasagna for Christmas Eve every year and fight over the leftovers… The Involtini is out of this world… the Saltimbocca is … I can’t find the symbol for drool- in my emojis… everything on the menu is Superb… it’s impossible to find something on the menu- that is not GREAT!
Fun Fact- Jenna is a Vegan- and so the menu offers wonderful delicious options for Vegans and Gluten Free diners as well… as I said… you’ve not been OUT- until you’ve gone out to Amore’ for dinner!
Chef Jenna and I – both appear on the Local ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids- WZZM- on the lifestyle show- My West Michigan- We’ve taught classes together at Amore’ – Chef Jenna shares her secrets to Northern Italian Cuisine- and I teach flower arranging during … we’ve also brought that little show to the Local Farmer’s Market. Jenna has participated and WON- our Annual uBloom Local Celebrity Flower Power Challenge- (you’ll see that very event in an upcoming Life in Bloom Show)… and she’s guested on my Fun with Flowers and J on uBloom!
Kelly and I had our wedding reception at Amore’- thanks to our Best Friend Suzanne – that threw a party for our Friends- who dined on Authentic Northern Italian deliciousness- while serenaded by the John Shea Jazz Trio… amidst plenty of gorgeous flowers… and a Cheesecake Wedding Cake- complete with 2 Prince Charmings… it was one of the most incredible nights of our lives… Thanks to amazing Friends!
Jenna has created her World Famous Authentic Italian Dishes for celebrities – like Snoop Dogg, Cindy Crawford, Nichelle Nichols and … Me! hehehe! The Pictures hang in the foyer of this charming Trattoria – where people visit, eat and drink in the atmosphere- and enjoy ‘gifts from the Kitchen’ – like Spoons of Tiramisu – or Chocolate-cello… and Chef Jenna makes the rounds to every table- to share a laugh- hug- and make sure your experience is over the moon!
Visit Amore’ Trattoria Italiana in Grand Rapids- and experience the Finest Authentic Northern Italian Dishes…
(Psst… if you come on Fridays at 5pm- you can watch “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom” on the big screen) Just sayin’