Chiqui (cheek.y [chee-kee] adjective: sassy, saucy, audacious, bold) is short for chiquita, or “little one,” in Spanish. Chef Anna had been lovingly called “Chiquita Banana” for years and over time, given her sassy spirit, the nickname was simply shortened to “Chiqui” … hence, ChiquiChef!
You can find Chef Anna wandering the local markets and sampling the fresh produce, which inspires her to scribble notes for future recipes. If you’re a willing listener, she will gladly discuss the benefits of drizzling truffle oil on a filet mignon or the different types of cheese you can use to make a knockout mac ’n’ cheese that even grown-ups will eat with the kids!
Chef Anna began her culinary journey in New York, where she was actively involved in her family’s Italian restaurant — Mardino’s, in Mount Kisco N.Y. From there, she moved to Washington, D.C., where Chiqui Chef was originally launched and quickly established as a high-quality personal chef business in a very competitive marketplace. With this growing success, other professional chefs began using her services for recreational cooking classes and private events at L’Academie de Cuisine, along with teaching after school nutritional programs with “Tiny Chefs.” Chef Anna is currently a chef instructor at Sur La Table in Pentagon Row, where she specializes in fresh pasta and Italian, Mediterranean, and Ethnic cuisine.
Anna is a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and its Capitol Chefs Chapter. She is Food Safety certified and fully insured. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Manhattanville College; Master’s degree in Higher Education at Teacher’s College Columbia University; Personal Chef Degree at the Culinary Business Academy; and Advanced Culinary Training Certificate Program at L’Academie de Cuisine.