In my life, I move in a lot of directions on a daily basis, and something that I find so important is always having an idea of where my center is. Knowing what grounds me, what makes me feel whole and good and confident is so crucial to having the courage to make decisions for my wedding clients, or in the best interest of our restaurants. This is not always easy, actually to be honest sometimes it fells like a swampy mess of insecurity and self doubt. One of the people to whom I can always go when I feel this way is my cousin Gabriella.

Now, I refer to her as Gabbie because I have known her since the brilliant day that she was born when I was seven years old. As an only child, with the majority of my first cousins being much older than me I never really had people my age around. Until this gorgeous stinker came along. And boy have we had adventures! From afternoons together at Kiddieland in Melrose Park (who else remembers that place! ah, the memories), to her spending one month with me in Italy when I lived there for university (she was 14, I was 21 and it was awesome), we have been really connected and able to go to each other for support, laughter, and love. She is now a married woman with two beautiful children, and she is the fourth generation in my family’s proud history of restaurants in our fantastic city of Chicago (her dad is EJ Lenzi, of E.J.’s place on the north shore). She is a whiz in the kitchen, has great style and is someone I can always turn to when I need a moment of restoration. I spent my morning with her today at Werewolf talking about life in a restaurant family, where to find a fantastic pedicure in the city, and oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over the delicious coffee at Werewolf. I adore her, and am so proud of all she accomplishes! Including the launch of her recent blog, A Gift Of Gabbie. She is in the know on all things great eats in the Chi and I love reading her blog, I think you will too!

What I know for sure is this – find people in your life that bring our the best in you, that love who for all that you are, and that are a true joy to be around. Gabbie is this for me. 💜


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