Rachel is a wine and food expert based in the Veneto region of Italy. Originally from northeast Ohio, her cultural curiosity inspired her study abroad several times while an undergrad student at Boston University. Her favorite experience was by far the semester spent in her adopted city of Padua, where she has now lived for twenty-five years. She followed her passion for wine while living in Italy, and became a certified Italian sommelier through the Associazione Italiana Sommelier in 2009, and continued her studies to become a master taster of Italian cheeses through the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Formaggi a few years- and many cheeses – later. She also loves cooking and considers herself an accomplished amateur cook, but a professional eater. She gives credit to her love of cooking to her late Italian grandfather, who passed on the importance of choosing quality ingredients, experimenting in the kitchen along with his treasured recipe for caponata. Nowadays her particular interest is the history of food and wine of the Veneto and she spends much of her free time visiting wineries, perusing historical cookbooks, and even frequenting archaeology talks. Rachel looks forward to helping visitors on Context tours dive right into the vibrant food and wine scene in Venice and Padua.