Who We Are

We started the Windy City Food Swap & Social after attending and meeting at the Chicago Food Swap, now held in Oak Park. We love to cook, try new things, and meet fellow food-lovers across the city.

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CHRISTINa BELLO

Christina comes from a family with a deep food history — from growing and cooking to eating and sharing — and is proud to carry on those traditions and build new communities around food. Cooking locally and seasonally is Christina's passion and daily bread, while her appetite has taken her around the country and abroad. Christina's career in food has included running a community cooking school, teaching cooking classes (her favorite class is paella), working at a spice shop, starting two cookbook clubs, and writing a food blog focused on home cooking. She is also a passionate food gardener and loves finding new ways to preserve seasonal ingredients.

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MIKE KOSTYO

Both Mike’s personal and professional lives revolve around food. He transitioned from politics to the food industry after earning his MA in Gastronomy from Boston University, where he also earned certificates in culinary, baking, cheese, and wine arts. Today Mike is the staff Trendologist at Datassential, a food industry market research and trends company, and he’s regularly featured on TV, radio, and in magazines and newspapers talking about food trends. At night and on the weekends he teaches cooking classes around Chicago, maintains an urban garden, and shares food and checks out new restaurants with his cookbook club.

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CRISTINA PIERACCI

Cristina is a Chicagoland native whose Italian heritage means food has always been an integral part of her life. During her six years living in Portland, Oregon, her culinary landscape really began to expand and she learned to cook from the hip (as Cat Cora would say). That time also turned her into quite the beer snob. She is therefore extremely excited to be part of the Windy City Food Swap & Social crew and meet others who share her joy for cooking and enjoying a few local brews.