Fiore, a Salem native fresh out of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, in her early 20s was deter­mined to become a lawyer. Her younger sister, Athena, helped to change her path. In 2002, Athena enlisted her sister’s help working on a high school fund-​​raiser. Malita’s job was to cook and serve food to 300 people.

At first, Fiore — who was working in an office at the time — was ter­ri­fied. But she suc­ceeded in cre­ating a menu and serving the large group, and after­ward she real­ized she liked cooking “a lot better than sit­ting behind a com­puter screen.”

It was the most exhausting and rewarding thing I ever did,” she said.

Weeks later, high school menu in hand, Fiore walked into the Strega restau­rant in Salem (which is now closed) and asked for a job in the kitchen. Exec­u­tive chef Arnold Rossman took a liking to her and decided to take her on.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →