The most inspiring place for Chef Kristina San Filippo to develop new dishes or to plan for an upcoming menu is standing among rows of plants that are laden with a bounty of potential ingredients. Physically being at a farmers market or local farm, and ideally a local farm that follows sustainable growing methods, allows a chef to choose elegant produce items that are brimming with flavor and nutrition. This hands on experience is the most direct connection a person can attain to the food they eat. When creating new healthful and unique recipes, it is also a focus for Chef Kristina to search out sustainably harvested seafood or humanely raised meat and poultry as a protein element of the dish.
For a chef who has lived in the various locations of Atlanta, Carmel, New Orleans, the Hudson Valley, Kauai and presently Bonita Springs, FL seeking out the best ingredients may be a challenge but the effort is greatly rewarded with the intriguing and delicious creations shared with clients and guests at her events. Sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for satisfying, yet responsibly produced, ingredients through culinary classes is her favorite way to spread the message to the community.
Chef Kristina has a Culinary Arts degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York graduating in 2000. To expand her qualifications for the restaurant and catering industry she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from the Collins School at California Polytechnic in Pomona, California completing the program in 2003.
Kristina’s culinary experience started at Blue Ridge Grill and Cafe Tu Tu Tango, both in Atlanta, Georgia. As part of the degree curriculum at The Culinary Institute of America she completed her externship at Bayona Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kristina’s career then took a focus on front of the house operations in her time as Bar Manager at Pizzaioli Ristorante in Chino, California and then as Assistant Restaurant Manager at Hyatt Carmel Highlands in Carmel, California. Returning to the kitchen, and crossing the Pacific Ocean, she held the position of Sous Chef at The Beach House Restaurant in Poipu on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Heading back to the mainland Chef Kristina stepped into the position of Executive Chef to teach culinary classes and host wine dinners at the Robb&Stucky KitchenAid Culinary Center in Bonita Springs, Florida. Remaining in the area she then took the position of Executive Chef at Fine Mark Bank’s Bonita Springs office where she provided private dining and event planning along with teaching culinary classes. In January 2012 Chef Kristina took an independent avenue that allows her to focus on teaching and supporting local farmers. She was the Chef Instructor at The Good Life cookware store in Naples from early 2013 until the summer of 2016. Offering a variety of private catering events in the SWFL area has been a continued area of culinary services during her teaching career. As her next intriguing step in the World of food & entertainment, Chef Kristina introduced Purple Spoon Culinary in September 2016 as a culinary hub located in Bonita Springs, Florida featuring cooking classes, retail of specialty food items & wines, weekly chef dinners and prepared foods using locally and sustainably sourced ingredients.