My name is Karina Flores Chienda and I am a 24 year living in Canada but currently travelling around Italy and Peru for 6 months*. I was born and raised in Lima, Perú for nine years of my life. Growing up in a South American country really shaped the person I am today. From a young age I was exposed to a world of ingredients, spices, and flavour.
Eating real food was a big part of my life and I found myself having an appreciation for fresh and authentic real food experiences. Since I had a hard time finding this experience in Canada, I left for an exchange in my last year of university and lived in Italy for five months. It was there where The Sassy Tomato was born.
Italy reawakened my Latin roots and opened my eyes and taste buds again to what it really meant to eat fresh and local food. There's nothing like a Caprese salad and a pizza in Italy. The freshness of the ingredients just gives their food a taste like no other.
Thus, upon my return to Canada, I have made it my mission to share my passion for better tasting food by exploring Ontario and making our communities aware of the natural resources and local products that we have. My goal is that together we will be educated on the local food movement and will make better and healthier choices as consumers.
*In 2018, I made the radical decision to quit my job and return to Italy for three months in a food and self discovering journey. I stayed in Rome where I worked at the Gelateria Del Teatro with my godmother and travelled around Rome's eternal city and other regions like Tuscany, Umbria, Massa, Lombardia, and Piedmont. Returning to Italy only reinforced my love for food and real ingredients. Now I have returned to my childhood home, Peru to re connect with my roots and discover its evolving food scene.
In 2019, I plan to bring a bigger focus to the Canadian and International Slow Food Movement through shifting my career into one more focused around agriculture, real food, and health.
"The Sassy Tomato" stands for my Latina sassy personality and the tomato represents the importance of fresh and real ingredients. Being creative is who I am and I look all around me to find my inspiration. I am building my brand to showcase my creativity and passion for something I strongly believe in!