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. Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

  2. Pam Victor

  3. Gabrielle Jordan

  4. Frankie Gaw

  5. Hannah Kaminsky

  6. Katherine Martinelli

  7. Brian Noyes

  8. Lori Shaw

  9. Alejandra Schrader

  10. Matthew Raiford

  11. Amy Paige Condon

  12. Mark Bologna

  13. Julia Skinner, PhD

  14. Soom Sisters

  15. Jerry L. Wyckoff, Ph.D.

  16. Cynthia Graubart

  17. Angela Garbacz

  18. Haile Thomas

  19. Maria Hines

  20. Eventide Oyster Co.

  21. Bobbi Wegner

  22. Philia Kelnhofer

  23. Mark Masker

  24. hot for food

  25. Elizabeth Sims

  26. Laura Bashar

  27. Matthew Prescott

  28. Karrie Truman

  29. Keith Pandolfi

  30. Todd Richards

  31. Sonya Sanford

  32. Shaye Elliott

  33. Michael Leviton

  34. Frank Carollo

  35. Amy Emberling

  36. Erika Council

  37. Leah Segedie

  38. Stephanie Weaver

    Stephanie Weaver

  39. Irena Chalmers

    Irena Chalmers

  40. Derek and Chad Sarno

    Derek and Chad Sarno

  41. Daniel Olivella

    Daniel Olivella

  42. Caroline Wright

    Caroline Wright

  43. Norman Van Aken

    Norman Van Aken

  44. Ford Fry

    Ford Fry

  45. Sherrie Castellano

    Sherrie Castellano

  46. Maura Kilpatrick

    Maura Kilpatrick

  47. William Woys Weaver

    William Woys Weaver

  48. Rick Woodford

    Rick Woodford

  49. Anne Willan

    Anne Willan

  50. Craig Whitson

    Craig Whitson

  51. Dan Whalen

    Dan Whalen

  52. Jeff Weiss

  53. Katie Webster

    Katie Webster

  54. Sherri Brooks Vinton

    Sherri Brooks Vinton

  55. Andreas Viestad

    Andreas Viestad

  56. Barbara Unell

  57. Cherie Twohy

    Cherie Twohy

  58. Toni Tipton-Martin

    Toni Tipton-Martin

  59. Lauren Keiper Stein

    Lauren Keiper Stein

  60. Ana Sortun

    Ana Sortun

  61. Natalie Slater

  62. Paula Shoyer

  63. Miyoko Schinner

    Miyoko Schinner

  64. Jeanne Sauvage

    Jeanne Sauvage

  65. Amelia Saltsman

    Amelia Saltsman

  66. Yukari Sakamoto

    Yukari Sakamoto

  67. Matthew Rowley

    Matthew Rowley

  68. Betty Rosbottom

  69. Jennie Ripps & Maria Littlefield

  70. Lisa Boalt Richardson

  71. A.J. Rathbun

    A.J. Rathbun

  72. Anne Quatrano

    Anne Quatrano

  73. Susan Pridmore

  74. Kate Payne

  75. Neka Pasquale

    Neka Pasquale

  76. Kim O’Donnel

  77. Brittany Nickerson

    Brittany Nickerson

  78. June Naylor

  79. Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss

  80. Irv Miller

    Irv Miller

  81. Mary Helen McNally-Leonard

    Mary Helen McNally-Leonard

  82. Jennifer McGruther

    Jennifer McGruther

  83. Patricia Pinner McAdams

  84. Charles & Julie Mayfield

  85. Evan Mallett

    Evan Mallett

  86. Perre Coleman Magness

    Perre Coleman Magness

  87. Yvonne Maffei

    Yvonne Maffei

  88. Ronni Lundy

    Ronni Lundy

  89. Cindy Littlefield

    Cindy Littlefield

  90. Phoebe Lapine

    Phoebe Lapine

  91. Louis Lambert

  92. Allyson Kramer

    Allyson Kramer

  93. Steven Kolpan

  94. Jennifer Justus

    Jennifer Justus

  95. Raymond McCrea Jones

  96. David Joachim

    David Joachim

  97. Lisa Howard

    Lisa Howard

  98. beth hillson

    Beth Hillson

  99. Kathy Hester

    Kathy Hester

  100. Bob & Mary Lou Heiss

    Bob & Mary Lou Heiss

  101. Chris & Idie Hastings

  102. Julie Hasson

    Julie Hasson

  103. Kimberly Hasselbrink

  104. Will Harris

    Will Harris

  105. Sandra A. Gutierrez

  106. Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn

    Meathead Goldwyn

  107. Linda Gassenheimer

    Linda Gassenheimer

  108. Amy Friedman

  109. Lisa Fetterman

  110. Judith Fertig

    Judith Fertig

  111. Carol Fenster

    Carol Fenster

  112. Sandy D'Amato

    Sandy D’Amato

  113. Hannah Crum

    Hannah Crum & Alex LaGory

  114. Fran Costigan

  115. John Coletta

    John Coletta

  116. Kelley Cleary Coffeen

    Kelley Coffeen

  117. Katie Cavuto

    Katie Cavuto, RD

  118. Kristina Bucaram

    Kristina Bucaram

  119. Ashley Blom

  120. Stacie Billis


Connect


Join Our Mailing List!

© 2020 The Lisa Ekus Group. All rights reserved.