Marzia’s Secret: A Sprinkle of Love

by Anna Foschi Ciampolini

She is a soft-spoken, caring woman with a radiant disposition, the kind we would want as a friend or a mom but make no mistakes: Marzia Bellotti Molatore is also a rising entrepreneur, a very determined and well-organised businesswoman with clear goals and vision. Founder and owner of Bella Cibo, a successful Italian cooking school in Coquitlam, BC, Marzia recently authored a cookbook, aptly titled Cooking with Mamma Marzia, Authentic Italian Recipes for the Whole Family, featuring traditional dishes and speciality recipes passed on through generations of Marzia’s family. Leafing through the book, it is evident that even people who can’t even crack an egg will be able to learn how to cook a decent meal. Information and techniques are presented in a clear manner accompanied by Jennifer Reimer’s beautiful photographs. A reader finds an abundance of suggestions and alternatives and more importantly, will understand the importance of choosing the right ingredients. The book also speaks about the importance of family through her private anecdotes or childhood memories, because family is the centre of Marzia’s life. She says: “One of the reasons I chose to teach Italian Cuisine from my house is because I could be there for my kids. When I started Bella Cibo seven years ago, my kids were smaller and needed my full attention, the opportunity of teaching from home was perfect. I could start a business doing what I love and be there for my family. It was a struggle, the first few years I started small because I wanted to be there for my kids. Now as they become more independent, I can continue to grow Bella Cibo.”

Marzia was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in the northern region of Valtellina. She came to Vancouver in 2003 to marry her husband with whom she has two children. After starting her cooking school, in 2018 she won the Service Excellence Award of the Langley Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Her passion for food and cooking is rooted in both her upbringing and her belief that food culture is an integral part of Italian heritage. She says “First, I don’t consider myself a culinary expert, just a passionate cook that likes to inspire people to cook homemade food and bring them back to the kitchen. I would like to continue to be the person that I am today and inspire more people to cook homemade food and continue to advocate for Italian Tradition and Culture. My big inspirations are all the Italian Mammas and Nonnas out there and of course my Mom and Nonna.”

Writing a book is never an easy feat, especially for a first-time author, but Marzia wasn’t intimidated. Over the years, she had collected an impressive number of recipes and was able to organize her material, find a publisher, and finish the book in a record four months. Despite her claims of being exhausted, she sounded more upbeat than ever when I phoned her during the final stages of book printing, and she shared that “Time constraint was the biggest challenge that I faced during the making of Cooking with Mamma Marzia. I wish I had more time. Writing a cookbook is not easy. I put a team together in August 2020 and now by early December, the book is ready. I still can’t believe it. My goal was to publish it now during the pandemic. I thought that maybe my recipes could inspire people to cook and start to create memories in the kitchen.” Indeed, many more people are discovering the simple pleasure of cooking at home and sharing a meal with their family as a positive side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Marzia’s real strength lies in her love of life, her optimism, and her ability to see opportunity even in dire circumstances. She has the gift of creativity, and she is ready to share it, with “a sprinkle of love.” Like she says: “This is my dream coming true, the best gift I could give to my kids. The day after the cookbook went into printing, I woke up with a great feeling thinking that 20 years from now, my kids and eventually my grand kids will have a professionally written book with recipes and memories about me, their grandma, and great-grandma.”

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