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Smiling red headed girl

Giuliana Russo-Skinner

Giuliana, originally hailing from the picturesque countryside of Puglia, Italy, chose to make Birmingham, Alabama, her home in 2011 after exploring diverse corners of the globe. Having grown up surrounded by olive trees, oranges, apricots, and a bounty of crops, her roots are deeply intertwined with the flavors of her homeland.

Following a career as a college professor at UAB and Samford, Giuliana transitioned into the realm of local and international real estate. However, fueled by a yearning to share the richness of her Italian heritage and the essence of the "dolce vita," Giuliana joined forces with Benard to establish Cooking with Culture in 2018. 

Cooking with Culture stands as the only Italian cooking and culture school in the US, a unique haven where enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the art of Italian cuisine while delving into the rich tapestry of its cultural heritage. This culinary venture has not only garnered acclaim from students but has also caught the attention of publications and found its way onto national and local TV, captivating audiences with the authentic and delectable experience it offers.

Smiling man seating at a table

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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