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Meet Giorgia Geovanna Luzi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Giorgia Geovanna Luzi.

Giorgia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a Los Angeles based Food and Wine Scientist from Rome, Italy and I am the creator of “MakEATeasy”, a blog currently hosted on Instagram and YouTube dedicated to the divulgation of accurate food knowledge on all its aspects. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Nutrition and a Master of Science in Italian Food and Wine. What does it mean? It means that I spent many of my educational years focusing on the understanding of everything that is behind the food products “from the farm to the table and beyond”, from the making process to the impact on the society, both from a nutritional point of view and the consumer’s behavioral point of view. Let me tell you where all this came from.

I grew up in my family’s grocery store, surrounded by people that cared about giving their customers the best products available on the market and so since I was a child, I developed an interest for high-quality food products. This, together with the passion for cooking, transmitted by the female figures of my family (my grandmothers, my mother and my aunts), made me develop an endless love and curiosity for the Food Industry. At 18 years old, shortly after the beginning of the University classes, I started a professional Pastry Course to become a Pastry Chef (that at the time was one of my dreams) and after several months, I earned a diploma as a Certified Pastry Culinarian. The event that influenced the most my career in this field arrived during my second year of University when I became the owner and manager of “Gioira”, a new grocery store opened in collaboration with my family. It was a huge responsibility but thanks to this I had the possibility to learn how to manage a business in the day-to-day operations.

In March 2016 I graduated in “Food Science and Nutrition” at the “Universita’ San Raffaele” in Rome, I was extremely happy but at the same time I couldn’t wait to learn more, so in September 2016 I moved from Rome to Padua, in Veneto region (Northern Italy) to start my two years Master Degree Course in “Italian Food and Wine”, an international program (held in English) with students and professors coming from all over the world. During this period, I acquired specific competencies to evaluate the many steps present in the production chain of high- quality certified products (PDO, PGI, AOC, etc.) and I was also introduced to the wine world. In September 2017, I’ve got engaged with my boyfriend Daniele (which is now my husband), after being together for almost seven years. We’ve got married in April 2018 which is the year I moved to Los Angeles. All my career plans changed together with my perspective of the Food Industry. I was busy working on my Master Thesis focused in the “Dessert and Wine Pairing” and at the same time I decided to learn as much as possible about the US Food Industry, I made many connections with industry professionals and in December 2018 I earned a Master Degree of Science in “Italian Food and Wine”. As it has happened in the past, my endless curiosity for the Food and Beverage Industry did not stop, which lead me to enroll at the “Court of Master Sommeliers” and just a couple months ago, in January 2020, I’ve got my 1°Level Sommelier Certificate. The program is very tough, but I’m strongly determined to arrive as far as I can.

“MakEATeasy” is a project I’ve been working on since I’ve moved to LA, it was born from the necessity to spread the food knowledge I’ve gained during the years, in order to push people to be more aware of the products they buy, despite the ideas that promotional marketing and the Social Media world tries to sell them. It took me a while to make it public because I wanted to be 100% sure that what I wanted to say was interesting enough, but during the past 2 years spent living in LA, many people expressed to me the desire to know more about food, on how to recognize quality, what products to buy, and so right after passing my Sommelier exam I opened the page. It is still at the early stages, but I saw the interest growing day after day and so I decided to also open a YouTube channel, and will most likely explore other social media as well. My mission is to talk about food in all its aspects, I love what I am doing and I love the fact that I am offering something totally different from the content that the Instagram platform usually shows. I can’t wait to see how this project will evolve in the future.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My interest for the Food Industry always added an additional weight when making life choices, like for example when I was an adolescent and I had to choose which kind of high school to attend (in Italy high schools are oriented towards a specific category of studies that can be more focused on Science, Literature, Languages, Physiology, Art, Culinary art or Business). My passion was telling me to choose a culinary art school, but I didn’t want to choose something that could categorize me into a specific category linked to the HoReCa industry (food service), so I decided instead to enroll at the “Classic High School” more oriented towards the Literature, where I studied Latin, Ancient Greek, Philosophy and more. I wanted to study something that could open my mind to many different options in the future.

After the five years of high school it took me a while to decide which kind of University I wanted to attend because I knew I wanted to study “Food” but I didn’t want to become a Nutritionist or a Dietitian, but a Food expert in general and at the time there were almost zero options in Italy so, when the “Universita’ San Raffaele” launched the course of “Food Science and Nutrition” that was a combination of everything, I immediately went for it. I studied an incredible variety of things all linked to food but in many different ways. That period was very fulfilling, even if balancing both my duties as a student and as Owner and Manager of a company wasn’t easy. After graduating, I knew I needed to make another important choice: keep studying to become a nutritionist or find a Master’s Degree to become a Food and Wine expert. I was lucky because shortly after I begun the researches, I found this new experimental Master Degree Course in Italian Food and Wine that then brought me in Northern Italy. Even in that case it was a really exciting journey, I met people from all around the world, I traveled across the country visiting Consortia, Producers, Vine growers whose products are world-famous, like Parmigiano Reggiano, Amarone della Valpolicella, Prosciutto di Parma and many others. I studied in deep the many steps behind the production chain of these amazing products and mainly how to valorize them abroad.

Another big challenge arrived at the end of my Master’s studies when I was almost ready to graduate and find a job in Italy and instead the love of my life brought me to the opposite side of the world in Los Angeles. Well, that was not easy! I found myself in a completely different environment, not being able to work because of my visa and where the importance of food in the society is still hard to understand, a bit superficial and its comprehension is limited to the restaurant world as a practical thing. It’s really hard to make people understand what a Food and Wine Scientist is because when talking about food or wine everyone thinks about the role of the Chef/Sommelier. I can relate my professional situation to the film “Divergent”, where people were categorized in classes according to a single and specific “talent” and if you didn’t belong to any categories because you were multi-talented and you could belong to each one of the classes you were not “understood”. I worked very hard to become a Food and Beverage “multitasker”, acquiring a variety of competencies related to the many different aspects of food, like the business or retail side, or the nutritional aspect or the sensorial analysis side or even the consumer behavior that is linked to it. But because I cannot be categorized people struggle to understand what I can do for them.

Please tell us about MakEATeasy.
“MakEATeasy” is not only a project or a food blog or an Instagram page, it is a mix of all these things and it was born from the necessity to show people all the aspects related to food, it is a way for me to share my knowledge and it is a way to help consumers being more aware of what they buy because too many times they pay for the brand/trend and not for the product and so many times they are not able to recognize the actual value of the product itself, that is based on ingredients and nutritional properties and that has nothing to do with packaging, price, store or the concept of diet the product belongs to. With “MakEATeasy” I want to send a positive message relative to food, wine, society and eating habits. I want to free consumers from the restrictive ideas that nowadays are commonly linked to the way we should eat. I want to show my audience that food can change their life for the better because it can nourish ourselves in so many ways that too often are forgotten.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in good or bad luck I simply believe in “consequences”. Those depend on the kind of choices you make, and if your intentions are good but something negative happens (difficulties/obstacles) it only helps you to find a better idea or a better path to follow. Many times, a simple NO is what pushes people to be great, if only they are open-minded and do not let obstacles break them.

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