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Francine Segan, one of America’s foremost experts on Italian cuisine, is an engaging public speaker, author, TV personality and consultant. A noted food historian and James Beard-nominated author of six books including "Dolci: Italy's Sweets" and "Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes from Italy" (both published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang).

Her many TV appearances include "Today" and "Early Show," and she has been featured on numerous specials for PBS, the Food Network and the History, Sundance and Discovery channels.

She is the U.S. spokesperson for several distinguished Italian companies including Lavazza, Felicetti, Amedei and Garofalo. As spokesperson for Carrabba's Italian Grill, a chain of 350 restaurants, she is featured in their La Pasta Vita video series.

Francine co-edited "Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl," a 2-volume encyclopedia, which was a finalist for the coveted Gourmand World Cookbook Award given each year in Paris. She contributed the chapter on Ruth Reichl for the book "Icons Of American Cooking" and translated two books -- "Nutella Passion" and "The Pleasures of Espresso" -- from Italian into English for Giunti, Italy's largest privately owned publisher.

Segan writes for several magazines including Epicurious, Food Arts and Gastronomica. She writes extensively about chocolate and authored several chapters of Rutgers University’s catalogue "Bitter Sweet: The Chocolate Show" and contributed the chapter "Italian Chocolate" for the upcoming Oxford Encyclopedia of Sweets. She lectures across the country for the prestigious speaker's bureau Cassidy & Fishman and is a frequent guest speaker at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., Virginia Fine Arts Museum and Museum of Natural History in New York.

The Jack-o-Potion combines cachaça and cranberry. Credit: Owl's Brew.

Halloween may mean trick or treating for the kids, but as adults we also like to get into the holiday spirit (or spirits, as

pumpkin carbonara

Succulent summer tomatoes are a distant memory, but luckily wonderful pasta sauce can be made with fall's beautiful bounty of pears and pumpkins. My passion


Italians like to linger at the table, during and after a meal. Dessert is leisurely. Sweets are served along with a dessert wine or

Chocolate ravioli make for a sweet treat.

Pasta lovers, save room for dessert. Pasta can be enjoyed not just as a first course, but for dessert too! Pasta as a sweets

Lou Di Palo

Four generations of Di Palos have run an Italian specialty market in New York City's Little Italy, so having Lou Di Palo, great-grandson of

At All’Antico Vinaio, you can get grated zucchini on your panino. Credit: Francine Segan

Florence's favorite street food is the panino and, with so much to do in Tuscany's capital city, it's the perfect meal while sightseeing. There


Willy Wonka might not agree, but not all chocolate is created equal. To find out what makes the difference between a $1 candy bar

Faux basil caviar is one of five trends to watch.

After tasting 2,734 entries, it was easy to spot food trends. I was one of the dozen judges for the coveted sofi Awards given