Meet Antonella! CTbites' Summer Intern Extraordinaire

We have been very lucky to work with a talented young writer and food blogger Antonella Pagani this summer as our first CTbites intern. She has been working hard helping us create our soon-to-be-launched CTbites directory, covering food news and covering her hometown of New Canaan, CT where she lives with her family, when she is not attending school in Florida.

As summer winds down and she is about to take off and head back to Florida, we thought it would be a great time to share what makes this gelato-scooping, squid-ink-croquette eating, Batali-loving food writer tick.

Quick Facts: One evening when Antonella was five, her mother received a concerned phone call from the mom of the friend whose house she was having dinner at that night: her daughter had devoured two heaping plates of spinach ravioli in cream sauce, put her forehead down on the table, and essentially passed out. She has been a notoriously voracious eater ever since. When not hitting the books down in Florida, she is obsessing over food blogs, watching movies, traveling, kicking it with friends and family, and – of course – cooking and eating.  

My current constant food cravings are: Gelato from Gelatissimo in New Canaan – recently it’s been pistachio + any tart sorbet on a cone; sautéed kale with lemon, salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of sesame oil; yerba mate; Rosie’s famous carrot cake (also NC).
The only fast food I will eat is:  McDonald’s strawberry milkshakes – because they’re unreal – but only like once a year because they’re, uh, unreal …and maybe a few stolen fries.
If I could be any Iron Chef, I would be: Probably Mario Batali because of his knack for staying cheerful under pressure – I bet it has to do with his orange Crocs.
My favorite restaurant in Fairfield County is: Valencia Luncheria (aka Venezuelan Beach Food).
My favorite restaurant in the Tri-State area is: Xi’an Famous Foods (in NYC) because they make the most fiery, chewiest, and insanely cumin-y hand-pulled noodles. 
Restaurant dish I wish I could make at home: These bizarre yet perfect Squid Ink Croquettes aka “Croquetes de Calamar amb Tinta” I had with my parents at a hole-in-the-wall tapas bar in Barcelona.
My go-to dinner party entrée is: Although I’ve yet to host a true dinner party, I’d like to think every home-cooked meal is a party, and these are usually a hodgepodge of whatever’s in the fridge with some inspiration from food blogs or restaurant dishes – last night the frozen filets from a bass my dad caught a few weeks back became grilled fish tacos with a spicy-cool mango and red onion salsa!
When I’m not eating, I’m…. watching movies or TV, spending time with family and friends, walking or biking outside, reading, studying translation, and contemplating what to eat/cook next
Prepared food I have let people think was home-made… None - my only food-related lies are told out of mercy for a sensitive cook.
I’d rather pick (pumpkins, apples, strawberries): Wild raspberries (not sharing the secret spot).
The last book I enjoyed wasCurrently enjoying Lydia Davis’ beautiful new translation of Madame Bovary.
My favorite movie of all time is: Can’t begin to pick one, but recently watched Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player and loved it.
My favorite food related movie of all time is:  Tie between Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, for all the extravagant pastry food porn, and Goodfellas because of that scene where they cook up gourmet meals in the joint – that’s food love.