Alyssa Ponticello is an East Coast transplant now based out of sunny Los Angeles and the founder + creative director of Runway Chef, a lifestyle site dedicated to sharing adventures from city to coast + closet to kitchen, all in good taste. She also runs a photography and content creation business, and when she’s not working, she can usually be found at the beach, in the kitchen or planning her next adventure.
"I’ve definitely made a shift to incorporate philanthropy into my mission with the hopes of being able to use my platform not just to inspire other’s to create a good life for themselves, but to also do good for others in the process."
We love how you mix food, travel and style throughout your content on Runway Chef. Have your perspective and mission of the brand changed since you started in 2011?
Thank you! The central theme of the brand, believing that style can be found in anything and food is a language that connects us across the globe, is still there, but the aesthetic and overall look of my brand has definitely evolved. My travel guides have become more comprehensive and extensive, and I’ve definitely made a shift to incorporate philanthropy into my mission with the hopes of being able to use my platform not just to inspire other’s to create a good life for themselves, but to also do good for others in the process.
If you could cook dinner for one person (past or present) who would it be?
Ok, it’s technically two people, but my great-grandparents…they immigrated to the US from Italy and my Grandma tells me stories of the food my great-grandma would cook and the general store that my great-grandfather owned, but I would have loved to have heard the stories directly from them and asked them more about their life in Italy prior to moving to America.
Your favorite breakfast place in LA?
Bondi Harvest for breakfast burritos, Tartine for croissants, or Gjusta for pretty much any and everything.
Flats or Heels?
Flats, because I’m always on the go!
Your favorite working space?
My home office/studio.
What is the one recipe from your blog that you've cooked again and again?
A pizza dough recipe that I got from my Mom…I’ve tweaked it a tad and shared it in several different forms (the latest being a squash blossom fried pizza situation), but it’s the easiest thing to throw together, requires little effort and no rising, and never fails to make a solid crust! I make it at least once a week!
How old were you when you started to cook?
I was basically born in the kitchen! I think I have even started cooking before I started walking or talking! But in all seriousness…I was always assisting my Mom or Grandma from a very young age. However, I don’t think I was fully making a recipe on my own until I was about 7 or 8.
What does your morning routine look like?
I typically wake up between 6:30-7am, check email and social for a few minutes (a habit I’m trying to break, but to no avail) then going on a 10-15 minute walk around the block with my husband, before prepping a bevy of beverages (I like to start with hot lemon water and a glass of chlorophyll water, followed by coffee with my husband), before spending a few minutes meditating and writing in my gratitude journal. Next, I work out (I like to switch it up between boxing, yoga, pilates + weight training), then shower, do my morning skincare routine, get dressed, make a quick smoothie and then dive into whatever I’m working on for the day.
The last book you loved?
Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn K. Glei (I’m a sucker for anything that helps with productivity, time management and business development!)
What are some of your favorite local escapes from LA?
My absolute favorite is Big Sur, but for something closer my husband and I love going to the Central Coast area and stopping at one of our favorite wineries, Biddle Ranch, for an afternoon, going to Pismo Beach, checking out the sand dunes, horseback riding on the beach, popping into some of the local vintage shops and grabbing a coffee at Scout Coffee (they have the most delicious house-made syrups and nut milks) in San Luis Obispo.
How would you define “luxury”? What does it mean to you?
To me, luxury is defined as something that is special. While it can be an item that is made well or something that isn’t a bare necessity, luxury can also be something more simplistic as spending time with a loved one or going on a spontaneous adventure or indulging in a special meal.
What resonates with you most about the Brochu Walker brand?
Everything about the brand is as elevated as it is effortless, which resonates with me deeply, as that is exactly how I strive to live my life. When I was first introduced to Brochu Walker, several years ago, the thing that caught my eye was the overall aesthetic. The California cool meets European elegance ethos feels relatable and attainable, with pieces I can wear in the kitchen or throw on while traveling, the classic styles with subtle updated twists and quality of materials, feel timeless and lux and perfect for dressing up.
Follow Alyssa’s adventures at @runwaychef.