Elisa Costantini, USA-Italy
Elisa was born in August 1938 to farmers, Alfredo and Maria Fantozzi, in Poggio Valle, a small town in the province of Teramo, located in the Abruzzo reign of Italy. As the second daughter, and one of six children, she learned to cook at a very young age. At 6 years old, she was sent to cook for the local catering house before and after school. She continues today, to use the same simple ingredients to create the most wonderful family dinners and desserts.
At 23, she immigrated to the United States with her late husband, Francesco, and daughter Nadia to Philadelphia. Starting from scratch, she built a family, an endless circle of friends and found a career with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia caring for special needs children as a housekeeper and cook. She continues to work to this day at Divine Providence Village in Springfield, Pennsylvania after 35 years.
After the loss of her husband of 56 years to cancer, Elisa realized she wanted to make sure she could remain financially independent, and although she continues to work with Special Needs Teens and Adults for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where she has devoted her life to serving others for 36 years, she realized this wasn't enough. The book, Italian Moms Spreading Their Art to Every Table, features some of Elisa's favorite recipes including: Antipasti, pasta, breads and pizza, main dishes and desserts. The recipes are easy to follow and stimulate the taste buds.