As an Italian American, I’ve had and made a lot of great meals that include pasta. (Thank goodness I’m not gluten intolerant!)

This picture shows one of my favorite quotes from Federico Fellini, which is on display at Eataly in NYC.

He says “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”

So much of my life has revolved around sharing great meals with family, friends and colleagues. It’s a great way to maintain and build relationships both personally and professionally.

Whether you cook or prefer to let others cook for you or like to go out to restaurants, meals really can bring us together with others.

A sit-down dinner or even going on a gelato run gives us time to catch up with friends and family.

It’s also great for nurturing our professional relationships. If you’ve read the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, you know that.

The book explores the art of networking and gives you actionable advice on how you can harness the power of good relationships and become a good networker to build a career you love.

Two of the most important lessons I learned in the book are to build your network long before you need it and how you spend time with people is much more important than how much time you spend with them. Meals are a great example of this. You can be really efficient in a one-hour lunch.

Reach out to your referrals, clients, colleagues and others you haven’t seen in person since the pandemic and schedule lunches and dinners. There’s no substitution for in-person networking.

In his book Ferrazzi says that dinner parties can create wonderful memories and strengthen relationships.

He notes, “Today I can safely say my strongest links have been forged at the table. The companionable effects of breaking bread—not to mention drinking a few glasses of wine—bring people together.”

He suggests inviting someone interesting outside your social circle to join your core group of friends or colleagues. This allows you to reach out beyond your usual circle and pull in someone who wouldn’t otherwise attend. You’re helping your guests make new connections which is a win win for everyone.

Culture is a big part of food and food is a big part of many cultures. By eating together, you can learn about other cultural backgrounds and the food from them.

Connectedness with family, friends and colleagues highly benefits our well-being, so take a break from your busy life and enjoy a meal with others.

Good food. Good people. Good conversations. And some wine. This is how to build stronger relationships in all aspects of your life.

What is your favorite way to enjoy meals and what dishes do you love to make?

Message me if you want my famous baked chicken Parmesan recipe!

And remember to never eat alone – also please read the book!

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