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Giuliana Russo-Skinner

Giuliana was born and raised in Italy, but -after travelling extensively around the world-  she decided to put down roots in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2011. She comes from a 4th generation real estate investors and grew up in the beautiful countryside of the region of Puglia, right where the heel meets the boot. Her family grows olive oil trees, oranges, apricots and many more crops.

After working as a college Professor at UAB and Samford for many years, she followed her family footsteps and now works in local & international real estate.

Because of her passion about her own Italian heritage and educating people to live the "dolce vita", Giuliana and Benard came together to form Cooking with Culture. In addition to Italian and English, Giuliana speaks Spanish and is fond of art, traveling, cinema, philosophy and literature.


Benard Tamburello

In 1996, Tamburello sold Gus’ Hot Dogs, the restaurant where he’d gotten his start. His next restaurant was Bernie’s Grill in Chelsea, a meat and vegetable venue. In 2002, Bernie’s Grill moved to Columbiana, Alabama where it is now operating as Bernie’s on Main Street. In 2006, Tamburello purchased La Dolce Vita to focus on Italian cooking. In 2008, he created the menu for the Tuscan steak house Bellini’s, which won Birmingham’s Top Restaurant in 2009. 

Chef Tamburello was determined to follow his personal dream of bringing authentic Italian food to Birmingham. In 2014, the friendly, neighborhood Vecchia Pizzeria & Mercato opened in Hoover. Many of Vecchia's dishes feature his signature recipes, including the popular Tamburello Italian Family Sausage. His newest adventure was opening Moss Rock Tacos & Tequila right next door to Vecchia in 2017. This Mexican-themed restaurant features fine tequilas and mezcals paired with an atmosphere of fun and tacos.

Chef Tamburello has done hundreds of TV and personal appearances through the years. Corporate sponsors such as Alagasco have hired him for commercials, and he’s worked formulating recipes for Moore’s Marinade. He has an ongoing cooking segment on Fox 6’s Good Day Alabama. 

Every year, Chef Tamburello attends many charity fundraisers and teaches cooking classes. He's also active with Birmingham Originals. He has been featured in Birmingham Magazine, B Metro, Hoover’s Magazine, and other local publications. Benard Tamburello is an active and integral part of the vibrant Birmingham culinary scene.

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