Ana Thomas came in the United States three years ago. For the first 12 years of her life she experienced the terror of Romania’s communist regime. She was born and raised in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Fascinated by poetry, music and the beautiful surrounding nature, she grew up in a modest but loving and protective family. She formed a very close connection with traditional Romanian food, her mother being an excellent cook. She began working in restaurants when she was still in high school, from the desire to help her family. As she discovered the richness of the Romanian cuisine, what started as a craft evolved quickly into a great passion.
From seasonal ingredients harvested from the family garden, to the traditional slaughtering of pigs before Christmas and of lamb before Easter, to her father picking up wild mushrooms in the Carpathian forests; these childhood memories contribute to her emphasis on naturalness and the desire to use only local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.
After working for almost fifteen years in the Romanian restaurant business, she went back to school and studied at the Commerce and Tourism University in Bucharest. In the meantime, she met her husband who brought her in the United States to start a family. She is grateful and thankful to have been part of the American River College – Hospitality Management program, as graduate and now volunteering as teaching assistant.
Now, as a professionally trained chef and pastry chef, she realizes that all roads are open, and harbors great and ambitious plans for the near future. She recently started working on a cookbook on authentic Romanian cuisine and wishes to start this amazing project, RomAna Catering. And, as most cooks probably do, she dreams of one day opening a restaurant where she can bring together her amazing gastronomic heritage and her dearest Romanian influences, to create seductive flavors that warm the body and nourish the heart.