With her catering business La Piu Bella Tavola (the most beautiful table), Ellen Sherwood has been honoring her wonderful Italian heritage by serving up Italian specialty foods. She has now broadened her catering horizons with Bella Aroma Fine Foods, where she has taken baking to an art form.
When I met with Ellen to write this piece, she brought out a sampling of beautifully crafted cakes and tortes adapted from her Italian mother’s recipes. Buongiorno tortes, arrivederci diet!

I started with a bite, then two, then three of the cranberry/blueberry/pecan torte her mother called her “morning cake” because she made it in the morning. Ellen did her mother proud. I could eat it morning, noon or night.

I couldn’t wait to try the chocolate/bourbon cake next, and it was spectacularly true to those two flavors. I could have eaten the whole thing.

But I didn’t because perched beautifully nearby was her rum cake that, seriously, my fork just honed into like a divining rod… just one bite made my taste buds sing an Italian aria.

Speaking of singing, I can’t sing enough praises for Ellen’s Italian almond torte. Viva Italia!

If you want to sing along with me, you can find Ellen’s cakes in various coffee houses around town (many she also makes gluten free)…

… and, as you’re tasting your way through Taste of Ojai, look for her banner and booth and let your taste buds sing along. Bellisimo!


By: Ilona Saari


Email Ellen at:  sherwoodinterest@aol.com