Eleanora recently moved to Easton from the Bronx. Her cooking interests were inspired by her mother, who was a domesticated homemaker all of her life. In Eleanora's own words, "I learned from my mother and gave it my own twist."
One summer afternoon last year, after Eleanora had finished canning 300 jars of tomatoes, a practice for which she is now famous, her neighbors encouraged her to write a letter to the one and only Martha Stewart.
Now, after shooting nine television segments with Martha, Eleanora has acquired dedicated fans all over the country and high hopes for the future.
"I cook with heart, Scarpetti said. "I love to cook, and I think that reflects on TV.
I had a chance to visit with Eleanora recently, and she showed me the amazing supply of jarred tomatoes in her basement.
"The tomato crop was not as beautiful this year because of all the rain," she said. "I had to buy more. Now I have over 400 jars, equal to about 2,000 pounds of tomatoes, and they are still as red and vibrant as ever."
Eleanora was contacted by Martha Stewart's staff after she sent the letter more than a year ago. After talking with her, they were impressed with her cooking knowledge and canning techniques.
Eleanora appeared on an episode of Martha Stewart Living, which aired Sept. 8 of last year. In three segments, Eleanora was shown shopping on Arthur Avenue ("Little Italy of the Bronx"), describing the canning process, and making a dish of chicken cacciatori.
The show was a hit, and. since then, Eleanora has established an impressive fan base, largely stemming from her TV appearances and her webpage at www.eleanoras kitchen.com. By connecting to her website, Eleanora's fans can learn cooking tips and how to order great recipes.
"My fans love me! she said. "I think it's because I try not to make my techniques complicated. I take the mystery out of it. If it wasn't for these people, I wouldn't have another show.
Also, Eleanora promotes exercise on her website and gives tips on how to stay in shape.
"You look at these other cooks on TV, and they are all overweight, she said. "1 take part in vigorous exercise three times a week. It makes me feel healthy and alive. At 45, I think I'm in pretty good shape, and I still eat as much as I want!'
During my visit with her, Eleanora generously offered me a glass of homemade wine and wouldn't let me leave without some jars of tomatoes, roasted peppers, and marinated eggplant.
She was eager to talk about her past experiences with Martha Stewart, whom she described as very complimentary. She also talked about future plans.
Eleanora explained that she is the author and photographer of her own cookbook, which is currently in the works with the Martha Stewart Publishing Company just finished shooting two more cooking segments for Martha Stewart Living, one of which will be demonstrating the classic "Traditional Italian Sauce" and is scheduled to air on Wednesday, Oct. 4 on CBS.
"After my first appearance on the show, I got such a positive reaction that they want me to do my own show," she said.
Eleanora also said she would like to someday start up her own restaurant business called Eleanora's Kitchen.
"I hope I can be an inspiration to other people, she said. "I'd tell them not to be afraid to get started and do something you love.
Eleanora believes that the two most important things to have in order to be successful are interest and effort.
"I've been cooking for 20 years, she explained. "When all my friends were out dancing, I was cooking."
After spending time with Eleanora, I discovered the reason she was so attractive to the Martha Stewart staff. She is a funny,energetic and all-around pleasant woman with tremendous promise for a bright future in the entertainment business.
And she makes great sauce.
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