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. Natlie Rizzo, MS, RD

  2. Crystal Wilkinson

  3. Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

  4. Pam Victor

  5. Gabrielle Jordan

  6. Frankie Gaw

  7. Hannah Kaminsky

  8. Katherine Martinelli

  9. Brian Noyes

  10. Lori Shaw

  11. Alejandra Schrader

  12. Matthew Raiford

  13. Amy Paige Condon

  14. Mark Bologna

  15. Julia Skinner, PhD

  16. Soom Sisters

  17. Jerry L. Wyckoff, Ph.D.

  18. Cynthia Graubart

  19. Angela Garbacz

  20. Haile Thomas

  21. Maria Hines

  22. Eventide Oyster Co.

  23. Bobbi Wegner

  24. Philia Kelnhofer

  25. Mark Masker

  26. hot for food

  27. Elizabeth Sims

  28. Laura Bashar

  29. Matthew Prescott

  30. Karrie Truman

  31. Keith Pandolfi

  32. Todd Richards

  33. Sonya Sanford

  34. Shaye Elliott

  35. Michael Leviton

  36. Frank Carollo

  37. Amy Emberling

  38. Erika Council

  39. Leah Segedie

  40. Stephanie Weaver

    Stephanie Weaver

  41. Irena Chalmers

    Irena Chalmers

  42. Derek and Chad Sarno

    Derek and Chad Sarno

  43. Daniel Olivella

    Daniel Olivella

  44. Caroline Wright

    Caroline Wright

  45. Norman Van Aken

    Norman Van Aken

  46. Ford Fry

    Ford Fry

  47. Sherrie Castellano

    Sherrie Castellano

  48. Maura Kilpatrick

    Maura Kilpatrick

  49. William Woys Weaver

    William Woys Weaver

  50. Rick Woodford

    Rick Woodford

  51. Anne Willan

    Anne Willan

  52. Craig Whitson

    Craig Whitson

  53. Dan Whalen

    Dan Whalen

  54. Jeff Weiss

  55. Katie Webster

    Katie Webster

  56. Sherri Brooks Vinton

    Sherri Brooks Vinton

  57. Andreas Viestad

    Andreas Viestad

  58. Barbara Unell

  59. Cherie Twohy

    Cherie Twohy

  60. Toni Tipton-Martin

    Toni Tipton-Martin

  61. Lauren Keiper Stein

    Lauren Keiper Stein

  62. Ana Sortun

    Ana Sortun

  63. Natalie Slater

  64. Paula Shoyer

  65. Miyoko Schinner

    Miyoko Schinner

  66. Jeanne Sauvage

    Jeanne Sauvage

  67. Amelia Saltsman

    Amelia Saltsman

  68. Yukari Sakamoto

    Yukari Sakamoto

  69. Matthew Rowley

    Matthew Rowley

  70. Betty Rosbottom

  71. Jennie Ripps & Maria Littlefield

  72. Lisa Boalt Richardson

  73. A.J. Rathbun

    A.J. Rathbun

  74. Anne Quatrano

    Anne Quatrano

  75. Susan Pridmore

  76. Kate Payne

  77. Neka Pasquale

    Neka Pasquale

  78. Kim O’Donnel

  79. Brittany Nickerson

    Brittany Nickerson

  80. June Naylor

  81. Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss

  82. Irv Miller

    Irv Miller

  83. Mary Helen McNally-Leonard

    Mary Helen McNally-Leonard

  84. Jennifer McGruther

    Jennifer McGruther

  85. Patricia Pinner McAdams

  86. Charles & Julie Mayfield

  87. Evan Mallett

    Evan Mallett

  88. Perre Coleman Magness

    Perre Coleman Magness

  89. Yvonne Maffei

    Yvonne Maffei

  90. Ronni Lundy

    Ronni Lundy

  91. Cindy Littlefield

    Cindy Littlefield

  92. Phoebe Lapine

    Phoebe Lapine

  93. Louis Lambert

  94. Allyson Kramer

    Allyson Kramer

  95. Steven Kolpan

  96. Jennifer Justus

    Jennifer Justus

  97. Raymond McCrea Jones

  98. David Joachim

    David Joachim

  99. Lisa Howard

    Lisa Howard

  100. beth hillson

    Beth Hillson

  101. Kathy Hester

    Kathy Hester

  102. Bob & Mary Lou Heiss

    Bob & Mary Lou Heiss

  103. Chris & Idie Hastings

  104. Julie Hasson

    Julie Hasson

  105. Kimberly Hasselbrink

  106. Will Harris

    Will Harris

  107. Sandra A. Gutierrez

  108. Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn

    Meathead Goldwyn

  109. Linda Gassenheimer

    Linda Gassenheimer

  110. Amy Friedman

  111. Lisa Fetterman

  112. Judith Fertig

    Judith Fertig

  113. Carol Fenster

    Carol Fenster

  114. Sandy D'Amato

    Sandy D’Amato

  115. Hannah Crum

    Hannah Crum & Alex LaGory

  116. Fran Costigan

  117. John Coletta

    John Coletta

  118. Kelley Cleary Coffeen

    Kelley Coffeen

  119. Katie Cavuto

    Katie Cavuto, RD

  120. Kristina Bucaram

    Kristina Bucaram


Connect


Join Our Mailing List!

© 2021 The Lisa Ekus Group. All rights reserved.