Chef Cristina Bowerman, the only female chef with 1 Michelin star in Rome, was born in Cerignola a small town in Puglia, Italy. After starting her career in Law, she decided to move to San Francisco to continue her law studies. While there, in order to learn ‘American like an American’ she worked in a number of different positions and her ﬁrst contact to the kitchen happened at a place called started Higher Grounds, a renowned coffee house in SF.
She then started to work for a company called Spectrum Foods which owned 16 high-end restaurants, almost all Italian. She moved to Southern California where she lived for a while and then to the city she loves, Austin TX. It is really in Austin that she ﬁnally discovered her love for cooking and decided to become a professional. She did in fact enroll and graduated with the maximum score at TXCA obtaining a liberal art degree.
Her ﬁrst experience with the high-end cuisine was under the Chef David Bull, James Beard awarded and well-renowned chef. Cristina decided she needed to create her own style and make it as personal as possible, which is why she moved to Rome. She wanted to know more about her roots but her idea was to go back, after experiencing the Convivio Troiani, a Michelin star restaurant in Rome, and open her own restaurant in Austin.
In the short period of time she was in Rome, she was offered many opportunities and Glass Hostaria in Trastevere was the one she felt in love with. Glass had opened just a little less a year before. Glass is a contemporary and innovative space both in philosophy and in the gastronomic proposal. The restaurant is counter-current with the Trastevere scene, exactly like Cristina’s cuisine. Her kitchen style is the result of experiences, travels, meetings, culinary training and studies, always been the primary source of inspiration. Cristina’s cuisine is a cultural crossing that tells about taste through the constant dialogue between traditions, cultures, memory and places.
Michelin star since 2010, and “Tre forchette – Gambero Rosso” since 2020, Cristina is a case study of Bocconi Universit. She wrote her ﬁrst book in 2014, “Da Cerignola a San Francisco e ritorno la mia vita di chef contro corrente” Mondadori, and her second one in 2019 “The Chef meets the Artist” published by Maretti Editore. Both books underline the strong her strong personality.
Cristina’s commitments are notorious and tackle several fronts, starting with training and teaching. One of the projects that is most important to her is ‘Adopt a Hotel Institute’, within the #fareformazione, the Memorandum of Understanding aimed at improving and expanding the training offered in Hotellerie and Management schools. This project has been signed by Cristina as President of the Italian Association “Ambasciatori del Gusto”, one of the most renown Association in Italy representing the restaurant business of which Cristina is one of the founding members and President since 2016.
Her commitment as “Ambasciatore del Gusto” was born in 2015 when she was appointed Chef Ambassador of Expo Milano 2015. There, together with Paolo Marchi and Cesare Battisti, she had the chance to imagine an association like ADG (Ambasciatori del Gusto). In 2018 she was part of the Technical Coordination Committee for the Year of Italian Food and more recently she joined Chef Manifesto, the initiative launched by Paul Newnham, which aims to end hunger, achieve security food and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.
Cristina has always tried to represent a role model for women in the professional world which privileges male representation, often undervaluing female skills and professionality.
This role gained her the position of speaker at TEDxMilano Women and then again at TedXaubg. Tedx public talks highlight the ‘ideas that deserve to be lived’. Her role in promoting and defending the female role in society gained her several awards and recognition among which are Ambassador by the Telefono Rosa Association, Aila Award, ‘Woman Chef of the Year’ by Identità Golose, ‘Best Female Italian Chef in Europe’ by Love Italian Life, ‘Galvanina Award for Best Chef’ and her recent ‘FIC award for excellence’ amongst many others.
Within her most heartfelt commitments towards women, she has the pleasure of being the protagonist of the biggest ACTION AID campaign in 2015 and is one of the few founders of the Fiorano For Kids organization for the therapeutic role’s research of speciﬁc diets in the care of infantile epilepsy.
In February 2021 Cristina took part in the Davos Agenda of the World Economic Forum in a talk by ‘La Stampa’ in which she stressed the importance of food sustainability, the enhancement of local producers and product logistics.
Her creativity in the kitchen, her commitments in various areas and her capability of speaking in three different languages gives her the opportunity to travel around the world holding workshops and talks or cooking in important venues for several VIP personalities, constantly enriching her, (by her deﬁnition dated back now to over 13 years ago) “cucina contaminata”, that which is contaminated (by other cultures) cuisine.
Because, like she says “If we could overlap all food cultures of the world like sheets of paper, we will see that one small corner always overlaps. That is the point of connection and continuity and that is the corner I always look for.”