Anna Maria de Freitas
Anna Maria de Freitas moved to historic Friday Harbor from Maryland to pursue her dream: owning an inn. She wanted to share her passion for food, cooking, and entertaining, not just as a hobby on weekends with friends and family, but full time. Prior to life as an innkeeper/chef, de Freitas worked in public broadcasting for 20 years, traveling the world for the radio documentary SOUNDPRINT. Anna Maria explored her curiosity for food with vacations to food-centric cultures. These trips expanded her culinary horizons and provided her with a wide palette of flavors and tastes.
Throughout these travels both for SOUNDPRINT and pleasure, Anna Maria would learn about the local cuisine of each culture. She would visit farms and farmers' markets, and dine in small family-style restaurants or at the homes of her hosts. These memories, many around the table, are indelible in her mind. There was Pierre, the innkeeper in Liguria, Italy, whose passion for food was so overwhelming that that one could not finish breakfast until every local specialty was sampled; or the ladies in a small Fijian village who prepared a local feast served on grass mats preceded by their traditional Kava ceremony; or a West African luncheon prepared by villagers
consisting of peanut stew and cassava leaves. Her cooking has been informed by these experiences.
Her cookbook, now in its 5th edition, La Cucina Anna Maria, Good Life Recipes from San Juan Island, includes 290 heritage recipes featuring fresh from the farm ingredients. She is a local celebrity chef and can be seen at festivals and events on the Islands including the Pelindaba Lavender Festival, San Juan County Fair, and the San Juan Farmers' Market. Her cooking demonstrations can be viewed on E-How.