Chef Cristina Bowerman of Glass Hostaria - Biography

Rome, Tuscany

September 2012

Born in Puglia, in the south of Italy, Chef Cristina Bowerman is not the typical Italian woman, nor the typical Italian chef. Instead of hewing to merely traditional Italian dishes, she found it much more interesting to innovate her native cuisine using outside influences. A visit to the United States sparked this desire. After studying foreign languages and then graduating with a law degree, she moved to San Francisco, where she worked at Higher Grounds coffee shop. The multitude of ethnicities in the city—and their flavorful cuisines—all served to inspire her to pursue a culinary career. As a hobby, while working as a graphic designer, she opened a catering company called The Two Skinny Ladies.

After reading about Elena Arzak’s success, and realizing that women did have a place in the professional kitchen, Bowerman moved to Austin, Texas, where she attended Le Cordon Bleu. She then worked at several restaurants, including the prestigious Driskill Grill. But the lure of home drew Bowerman back to Italy, where she first worked at Convivio Troiani and then later opened Glass Hostaria in Rome. Because of her constantly curious approach to cooking—to seek inspiration anywhere, be it the grocery store, the street, or another restaurant—has led to a constantly evolving menu. And her innovative take on regional Italian fare garnered her two forks from the Gambero Rosso guide and a Michelin star.