New England Today
When Mary Ann Esposito began filming Ciao Italia, her PBS cooking show, in 1989, Americans had just begun to discover that there was more to Italian food than pizza and red sauce. The Food Network didn’t exist (that would take four more years), but Esposito’s travels throughout Italy, combined with her love of cooking and teaching, inspired her to pitch New Hampshire Public Television a show about how to cook authentic regional Italian food. Today she still hosts Ciao Italia, the longest-running TV cooking show, produced in her hometown of Durham, New Hampshire. But during the pandemic, she turned her attention to gardening. This led to her newest book, her 14th in all, called Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook! It will be published in October. —Amy Traverso.