Cinzia Rascazzo, Founder, Artisans of Taste
What did you study at Harvard?
I attended a two year MBA program in General Management at Harvard Business School.
Were you involved with any food or wine activities while a student?
I was hosting lots of dinner parties in my bedroom on campus, cooking Italian food and drinking Italian & French wines with my new friends from all over the world. This made me realize that good food and wines bring people together. And I built strong and lasting friendships over those dinners.
Soon after graduation I led a two-week trip to my home region in Southern Italy, Puglia, and then to Sicily with some of my very best international friends. We rented a villa, cooked together, visited wineries, ate at my parents’ place and experienced the slow Italian lifestyle.
At that time, I realized that people can learn so much about the culture of a country, through its food and wines. I also realized that people with an interest in healthy living really enjoy the slow Mediterranean way of life and healthy food we have in Southern Italy.
Do you think that Harvard has prepared you for a career in food and wine or hospitality in general? If so, how?
Being the MBA program at Harvard Business School focused on General Management, students are prepared for a career in any sector, not just food or hospitality.
Among the subjects we studied, Strategy, Leadership, Entrepreneurship have been very helpful in my current career.
However, what I think is unique about Harvard is that the school really prepares people who want to have an impact on the world. This was very important for me as I wanted a career that made me feel I was contributing to other people.
What work do you do now?
After my experience at Goldman Sachs, I have been an entrepreneur for the past 10 years.
Together with a team of doctors, we first started Stile Mediterraneo, a Mediterranean Food & Lifestyle School located in Southern Italy. We provide health retreats targeting American people who want to improve their health and wellbeing. We also sell branded and non-branded food products online and through our newsletters.
In 2014, we also launched Artisans of Taste, providing hands-on transformational experiences and events in Italy and other countries. We bring together select food/wine producers, chefs in order to inspire rising leaders and individuals to make a difference in our communities through good artisan food and wine.
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