It’s the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, and Angela Carlino Milani is grilling flank steak and vegetables in front of a live audience at NBC 10’s 10! Show. With both the stunning looks and the bubbly personality for television, the 25-year-old chef is the third-generation offspring of the family behind Carlino’s Specialty Foods & Catering, a local institution.
Milani isn’t the first Carlino to have small-screen aspirations. Her late grandmother, “Mama” Angela Carlino, dreamed of hosting a show that focused on the homemade pastas and authentic Italian meals so well received by patrons of her famed Ardmore market. But the Italian immigrant’s broken English prevented her from pursuing her dream. “She would say to me, ‘You speak so well. You have to go on television and teach these people how to cook,’” Milani recalls. “She’d be so proud that I’m going after both of our dreams.”
Upon her 2005 graduation from Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Bryn Mawr, Milani stayed close to home, attending St. Joseph’s University, where she majored in food marketing. Parents Pat and Laura Carlino never once had to persuade her to join the family business. After receiving formal culinary training at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, she went to work full-time, planning menus, crafting new recipes and more for the Ardmore and West Chester locations. Along with the women’s chef’s-coat line she’s launching this fall, Milani recently debuted the impressive lifestyle blog, La Bella Cucina, and is starting on a cookbook. “I grew up watching my grandmother cooking, and I loved being in the kitchen with her,” say Milani. “There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that this is what I wanted to do.”
Back on the 10! Show, dressed in a hot-pink chef’s coat that will be part of her new collection, Milani easily manages cooking tasks while chatting up host Bill Henley. Doing seven-minute segments on local TV was how food-entertainment mogul Rachael Ray got her start—a fact not lost on Milani, whose ultimate goal is to land a show similar to that of her favorite star, Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten. And there’s no reason to believe she won’t.