Maria grew up in the Azores in a small village of 10,000 people. Her parents were farmers, as were her grandparents who had a large farm that exported produce from garlic to oranges to watermelon to Portugal. After studying social work and practicing family therapy for years in Portugal, Maria moved back to the Azores to find a more peaceful life that connected her with her lifelong passion of food. She bought house on a small plot of land with an orchard where she grows figs, apples, pears, almonds, oranges and more. Living in the subtropical climate of the Azores, Maria also is able to grow a variety of tropical fruits including papaya, guava and lychee. Maria is passionate about meeting and learning from new people and is excited to share fresh, seasonal Azorean cooking with her guests. Maria’s recipes have been passed down through her mom and grandmother and Maria is passionate about showcasing her family and island’s culinary history with guests.