CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago chef Natalia Rosario stars in the new Food Network series "Ciao House," debuting this Sunday.
Rosario grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to Mexico as a teenager, where she studied culinary arts. She came to Chicago after landing a plum job with the Alinea Group.
"I wanted to do a lot of Latin food in a modern way and that's when I decided I need to go to Chicago, in a Michelin star setting to acquire more modern skills, to be more innovative in everything I wanted to do," she said.
Rosario's mother gave up a scholarship to study in Italy because she was pregnant with her, so the show is a tribute to mom.
"I was like, what, going to Italy for two months, to film a show, all paid for? Yes! I'm in!" Rosario said. "It really has changed my life, in a really positive way. I hadn't been to Italy before this experience, but I've always been obsessed with Italian food like all of us."
And she brought some of her Hispanic flair to Italy as well.
"I have very deep Latin roots in me and I like to transmit it a lot through my food," she said.
She was not only representing her heritage, but also the city of Chicago.
"Chicago is such a great city, you feel hugged by this city, and representing Chicago is a huge deal," she said.
We asked Rosario what she considers the one ingredient that can save any dish in the kitchen, and her answer surprised us: Bitters! Most people use it in cocktails, or for an upset stomach, but Rosario said it's much more flexible than we think.
"I use it for cooking on almost everything, and this is the reason my food tastes different to your food," she said.