CHEF DANA KLITZBERG
DANA KLITZBERG CHEF, ENTERTAINING EXPERT, & FOOD WRITER
Chef Dana Klitzberg is an authority on international cuisine, entertaining, and culinary culture. Dana is the Executive Chef and principal of culinary company Blu Aubergine, through which she offers private chef, catering, and consulting services, as well as cooking classes, in both the U.S. and overseas. Ms. Klitzberg founded the company in Rome, Italy, where she spent 8 years working her way to the top of restaurant kitchens and honing her craft through travel around the Italian peninsula and beyond. She also writes about food, history, and culture for various newspapers, magazines, and online outlets, as well as her own Blu Aubergine blog. Dana’s passion for great food developed at a young age, as her sweet tooth drew her to the kitchen to help her mother prepare desserts for dinner parties and family gatherings. Growing up in New Jersey, she traveled frequently to her grandparents’ farm in Pennsylvania, where she developed a taste for farm-to-table food before it was ever a trend, working alongside her family to harvest fruits and vegetables. Visiting her other set of grandparents in NYC, she’d enjoy the distinct flavors of fried calamari in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and the authentic New York deli in which her family would indulge. Summers spent in New England meant heading out on a boat to catch fresh lobster, or going blueberry picking for the sweet wild berries in Maine. Years later, on an eye-opening high school trip to Italy, she forged a unique bond with the cuisine, people and culture. While at the University of Virginia, Dana spent a semester studying in Florence, where she took a cooking class that made an indelible impact on her, and would plant the seeds for her future career. Dana also studied ballet for 25 years and danced with the Princeton Ballet II Company – which taught her about timing and theatricality, things she would find helpful in the “theater” of the restaurant kitchen. After working for many years as a top fashion and luxury goods publicist in New York City, Dana had an epiphany that led her to quit her career in PR and enroll in culinary school. But first, she headed back to Italy to study and travel, and ended up forming lifelong friendships and an unshakeable bond with the Eternal City of Rome. After completing culinary school at Manhattan’s Institute of Culinary Education, Dana started her cooking career at the renowned Italian restaurant San Domenico NY, and later moved back to Rome, where she spent 8 wonderful years perfecting her style of regional Italian cuisine. She cooked in various restaurants in the city, under several Michelin-starred chefs, and eventually worked her way up to executive chef – quite possibly the only female American chef to ever head a restaurant kitchen in Italy. At the same time, Dana founded Blu Aubergine, which grew into a favorite catering company for international clients in film and the arts, diplomatic institutions, and governing agencies like the Rome-based Food and Agricultural organization (FAO) of the UN. She was also the first professional chef in Rome to teach cooking classes and give culinary tours, and served as chief restaurant reviewer for publications like Time Out and Fodor’s Rome and Italy guides for the past decade. Dana has also consulted for various restaurants in New York and Italy, including The Hotel on Rivington and Il Convivio in Rome. Dana grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in English Language and Literature. She received a professional degree in Culinary Arts from Manhattan’s Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump’s) in 1999. Dana now splits her time between New York City, Rome, and South Florida.