Gina DePalma, award-winning pastry chef at Mario Batali’s Babbo Ristorante and Enoteca in New York City, is inspired by her Italian background to create deserts such as Ricotta Pound Cake and Honey and Pine Nut Tarts. She has written cookbooks, was named Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2009, and was named 2008’s Best Pastry Chef by Bon Appetit Magazine. However, while DePalma was busy making her name for herself in the culinary world, she developed stage-4 ovarian cancer. This is when she combined her Italian American heritage with her can-do cowgirl attitude and founded the Cowgirl Cure Foundation for ovarian cancer awareness. You may wonder where cowgirl comes from, but DePalma’s best friend gave her a cowgirl inscribed ring as a reminder to fight.
After three years, multiple surgeries, and one recurrence DePalma was recently declared cancer free, but she still fights for others affected by the disease. Her goal is wider attention and increased funding for research toward a reliable screening test and cure for ovarian cancer. DePalma draws strength from her inner cowgirl and her Italian American Heritage, not only in her fight against ovarian cancer, but to succeed as a pastry chef. To read more about DePalma and her story check out the fall issue of NIAF’s magazine, Ambassador by visiting niaf.org.
For more information on the Cowgirl Cure Foundation please visit, www.Ginadepalma.net/The_Cowgirl_Cure_Foundation.html.