Yvonne Maffei

Do you want to work with Yvonne? Click here!

I’m Yvonne Maffei, Founder & Publisher of My Halal Kitchen. I was born and raised in small-town Ohio in the heartland of America. After studying at Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) I’ve lived all over the country and traveled the world, but northeast Ohio is where I will always call home. I had a wholesome upbringing in a place where the people were nice, the surrounding was safe and peaceful, and the schools fantastic. It shaped everything about the person I am today because it was the launching pad I needed to go forward in life to set off satisfying all of my curiosities about the world — and I’m very curious.

I was raised visiting farms on the outskirts of my small town. Every Wednesday or Saturday my parents would visit the local flea market where we could directly interact with Amish farmers or other local producers about their farm stand produce and hand-crafted goods. School trips and family outings involved things like hay rides, visits to apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and summer strawberry picking — memories I cherish deeply and one of the reasons why fall and spring are my absolute favorite seasons of the year.

What has made my life even more interesting is that I’m half-Sicilian and half-Puerto Rican, which means that I grew up eating some really amazing food!  My Sicilian grandparents had Sunday suppers for the entire family every week. Pasta with meatballs, lasagna, homemade sauce, homemade bread, homemade pizza — it was all a part of the culinary experience of my youth and something I thought was normal. On the Puerto Rican side, it was rice and beans, chicken, pasteles (banana-leaf wrapped tamales), and all sorts of Caribbean-style sweets made with guava, mango, coconut and pineapple.  It’s no wonder I grew up with a desire to hold on to the culinary traditions I grew up with when I saw so much of it disappearing into the marketplace of not-so-real food as I got older and began shopping for myself.

A trip to Sicily when I was 18 years old changed everything about how I viewed food, cooking, and living. I experienced how to shop, select, cook, and savor the freshest ingredients one could possibly put on the table. My aunt showed me around the markets of my family’s seaside home town in a small village outside of Catania and the rest of my family there showed me how to truly enjoy it all. I was never the same after returning, and never returned to yo-yo dieting or eating processed foods.

Coming back to the U.S., I entered college and began traveling abroad more and more — Mexico, the Caribbean, France, England, Switzerland, Morocco, Spain, Greece, and all of Italy. I couldn’t get enough of learning about how people around the world cooked and lived and enjoyed the freshest and most local ingredients on hand. I talked to everyone I could about how to prepare food from scratch and why they used certain cooking methods over others. No culinary school could have given me that type of experience, although I really wanted to enter a prestigious culinary school at the time. Without regret, I graduated from Ohio University with a B.A. and an M.A. in International Studies and came out speaking a couple of extra languages, meeting some incredibly interesting people, and having the most amazing college experiences I hold deep in my heart.

After college I was a Spanish and English Language and Literature teacher for nearly 10 years before deciding to pursue food writing and teaching the culinary arts within a halal context on a full-time basis. I’m passionate about wholesome food, nutrition, gardening, homemaking, and learning about fascinating culinary traditions of people all over the globe. I love real food and am concerned about the current state of our food industry and other factors that jeopardize our food freedom and fair and equal access to healthy food for everyone. It helps that I love to cook, I love to be in my kitchen or garden, and I love to travel and cook and garden anywhere else in the world, too. I could literally cook and discuss food and everything that surrounds the topic all day long. Really, I could.

I live just outside of Chicago and am always scoping out food and products that are natural, organic, pure, halal, raised humanely, sourced ethically, and brought to market without poisonous toxins and chemicals. Unfortunately, that’s not always an easy thing to do, but it is getting easier as more great companies produce wonderful products I love to shout out to the world — that means so you can find out about them, too!

Spokesperson
Author
  1. Soom Sisters

  2. Jerry L. Wyckoff, Ph.D.

  3. Cynthia Graubart

  4. Angela Garbacz

  5. Haile Thomas

  6. Maria Hines

  7. Eventide Oyster Co.

  8. Bobbi Wegner

  9. Philia Kelnhofer

  10. Mark Masker

  11. hot for food

  12. Elizabeth Sims

  13. Laura Bashar

  14. Matthew Prescott

  15. Karrie Truman

  16. Keith Pandolfi

  17. Todd Richards

  18. Sonya Sanford

  19. Shaye Elliott

  20. Michael Leviton

  21. Frank Carollo

  22. Amy Emberling

  23. Erika Council

  24. Leah Segedie

  25. Stephanie Weaver

    Stephanie Weaver

  26. Irena Chalmers

    Irena Chalmers

  27. Derek and Chad Sarno

    Derek and Chad Sarno

  28. Daniel Olivella

    Daniel Olivella

  29. Caroline Wright

    Caroline Wright

  30. Norman Van Aken

    Norman Van Aken

  31. Ford Fry

    Ford Fry

  32. Sherrie Castellano

    Sherrie Castellano

  33. Maura Kilpatrick

    Maura Kilpatrick

  34. William Woys Weaver

    William Woys Weaver

  35. Rick Woodford

    Rick Woodford

  36. Ronnie Woo

    Ronnie Woo

  37. Virginia Willis

  38. Anne Willan

    Anne Willan

  39. Craig Whitson

    Craig Whitson

  40. Dan Whalen

    Dan Whalen

  41. Jeff Weiss

  42. Katie Webster

    Katie Webster

  43. Sherri Brooks Vinton

    Sherri Brooks Vinton

  44. Andreas Viestad

    Andreas Viestad

  45. Barbara Unell

  46. Cherie Twohy

    Cherie Twohy

  47. Toni Tipton-Martin

    Toni Tipton-Martin

  48. Lauren Keiper Stein

    Lauren Keiper Stein

  49. Ana Sortun

    Ana Sortun

  50. Natalie Slater

  51. Paula Shoyer

  52. Miyoko Schinner

    Miyoko Schinner

  53. Jeanne Sauvage

    Jeanne Sauvage

  54. Amelia Saltsman

    Amelia Saltsman

  55. Yukari Sakamoto

    Yukari Sakamoto

  56. Matthew Rowley

    Matthew Rowley

  57. Betty Rosbottom

  58. Jennie Ripps & Maria Littlefield

  59. Lisa Boalt Richardson

  60. A.J. Rathbun

    A.J. Rathbun

  61. Anne Quatrano

    Anne Quatrano

  62. Susan Pridmore

  63. Kate Payne

  64. Neka Pasquale

    Neka Pasquale

  65. Kim O’Donnel

  66. Brittany Nickerson

    Brittany Nickerson

  67. June Naylor

  68. Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss

  69. Irv Miller

    Irv Miller

  70. Mary Helen McNally-Leonard

    Mary Helen McNally-Leonard

  71. Jennifer McGruther

    Jennifer McGruther

  72. Patricia Pinner McAdams

  73. Charles & Julie Mayfield

  74. Evan Mallett

    Evan Mallett

  75. Perre Coleman Magness

    Perre Coleman Magness

  76. Yvonne Maffei

    Yvonne Maffei

  77. Ronni Lundy

    Ronni Lundy

  78. Cindy Littlefield

    Cindy Littlefield

  79. Phoebe Lapine

    Phoebe Lapine

  80. Louis Lambert

  81. Allyson Kramer

    Allyson Kramer

  82. Steven Kolpan

  83. Jennifer Justus

    Jennifer Justus

  84. Raymond McCrea Jones

  85. David Joachim

    David Joachim

  86. Lisa Howard

    Lisa Howard

  87. beth hillson

    Beth Hillson

  88. Kathy Hester

    Kathy Hester

  89. Bob & Mary Lou Heiss

    Bob & Mary Lou Heiss

  90. Chris & Idie Hastings

  91. Julie Hasson

    Julie Hasson

  92. Kimberly Hasselbrink

  93. Will Harris

    Will Harris

  94. Sandra A. Gutierrez

  95. Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn

    Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn

  96. Linda Gassenheimer

    Linda Gassenheimer

  97. Amy Friedman

  98. Lisa Fetterman

  99. Judith Fertig

    Judith Fertig

  100. Carol Fenster

    Carol Fenster

  101. Von Diaz

    Von Diaz

  102. Sandy D'Amato

    Sandy D’Amato

  103. Hannah Crum

    Hannah Crum & Alex LaGory

  104. Fran Costigan

  105. John Coletta

    John Coletta

  106. Kelley Cleary Coffeen

    Kelley Coffeen

  107. Katie Cavuto

    Katie Cavuto, RD

  108. Kristina Bucaram

    Kristina Bucaram

  109. Ashley Blom

  110. Stacie Billis

    Stacie Billis

  111. Maria Baez Kijac

    Maria Baez Kijac

  112. Nava Atlas

    Nava Atlas

  113. Elizabeth Andoh

    Elizabeth Andoh

  114. Toby Amidor

    Toby Amidor, MS, RD

  115. Karen Adler

    Karen Adler

  116. Debbie Adler

  117. Kevin Gillespie


Connect


Join Our Mailing List!

© 2018 The Lisa Ekus Group. All rights reserved.