Paula Francese married into an Italian family more than 50 years ago and fell in love with Italian food and culture. She has a PhD from Cornell University and taught hospitality management at the University of New Hampshire and Boston University. After retiring, she graduated from Chez Boucher Culinary Center in Hampton, New Hampshire, United States. She currently serves in the New Hampshire legislature as a state representative. Her youngest granddaughter was named after her Italian great-grandmother, Almina Francese.