Lilly’s story, a true rags-to-riches tale, is a testament to hard work, culinary passion, and a mountain of faith in oneself.
The story begins in the 1970s in Genoa, Italy, where Lilly D’Alelio and her husband Giovanni ran a graphic design studio. The studio subscribed to many American magazines, and Lilly was quick to notice a rise in articles featuring pasta.
Previously portrayed as a quick and budget-friendly meal, pasta was now being positioned as an elegant and attractive dish. Lilly also noticed that health professionals were beginning to support its nutritional value.
This sparked Lilly to turn her passion for cooking and her skills at traditional pasta-making into a career abroad. Her husband Giovanni was skeptical at first, but her persistence eventually swayed him.
Logistics were complicated, and prospects were uncertain – in a leap of faith, Lilly, Giovanni, and their three young children arrived in the U.S. in 1986 with little more than the clothes on their backs and a dream, they gambled, that would outweigh their debts. Giovanni found factory work and Lilly sewed skirts while they searched for a workspace; she describes exhausting months of sewing in her basement all through the night, just to get by.