What was your dream job as a child?
My dream job as a child really varied by the day. I think my most vivid dream jobs were to be a fashion designer (I fought with my mom every morning getting dressed since as early as kindergarten) and most recently one of my aunts found an old appointment book I used for pretending I owned a salon and day spa. The name of it was Beauty is From Within.
But through and through, I have always possessed a great love for food and have been a pretty adventurous eater my entire life – my family fed me oysters when I was three, and cooking and eating is a pretty important part of having Italian and Maltese roots.
What’s it like working with some of the most talented chefs and dining establishments in the city?
Working with some of the most talented chefs and dining establishments in the city is invigorating. I think that is the word that really embodies it all. No day is ever the same, and learning about their creative processes and inspirations is remarkable.
There are so many talented chefs and interesting restaurants in Boston, and the culinary scene is constantly transforming and reaching new heights. I’m always learning something new whether it is watching ash being made at a farm in Essex or hearing about the steps behind century old recipes for gnocchi and meatballs.
You know the city better than anyone. Tell us your itinerary for the perfect day in Boston/what’s on your list of not-to-be-missed spots?
The North End is my favorite part of Boston, so it makes complete sense that this is where I both live and work. My perfect day would start with a class from Victoria Badolato or Meg Scannell at Exhale Battery Wharf followed by a walk by the water with my dog Pacé. This is the most rejuvenating way to start any day, regardless of the season. Refueling with juices from Nourish Your Soul is another essential.
One of my all-time favorite activities is going to Sarra in South Boston where Lauren Genatossio and her super talented team are masters of the art of eyebrow shaping. Getting my eyebrows done by Lauren is pretty much my favorite day of the month. Not only are these ladies extremely talented and award-winning artists, but the conversation is hysterical and the makeup line is kick ass.
A walk through the Boston Public Garden is always good for the soul and so are cocktails in the Back Bay. I love the scene at Oak Bar and The Bar at Taj Boston. They’re old-world Boston, and they always get it right.
Some of my other favorites, although not always possible in one day are: crudo (any of it) at Bistro du Midi, small bites and cocktails in the salon at L’Espalier, anything on the gluten free menu at Myers + Chang, carnitas tacos and the fine tequila selection at La Brasa, pretty much anything on the menu at Sarma, and oysters and lobster rolls at Neptune Oyster.
Before 451 Marketing, you worked in-house for a number of restaurants. What is it like having experience on both sides of the hospitality table?
Having experience both in-house and on the agency side is a real asset because it provides a better understanding of operations. As a publicist, you can come up with the most inventive and creative ideas in the world, but they have to be initiatives that can be easily executed on the restaurant side. There are so many things going on behind the scenes that I would not be aware of if I hadn’t worked in restaurants.
What’s something about you that would really surprise people to know?
Haha – I’ve been listening to Bruce Springsteen since I was in the womb. I’m trying to learn Italian. Public speaking used to absolutely terrify me until I graduated college. I slept with a night light on until I went to college – it was this cute little porcelain doll night light my grandmother gave me when I was 4. Take your pick!
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever gotten?
The most valuable lesson I have learned in my career is to always give your all and to treat everything like it is your own. Employers and clients hire you for a reason and in hopes that you will be a part of building their brand.When you have the devotion and respect for your work, as if it is for your own company, you will build a great reputation for your employer and also for yourself.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge in PR?
The way information is available to us now is both a blessing and a curse. I’ll leave it at that. 😉