My name is Mary Miller and I’m the owner of The Fork and The Road, LLC. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and have been finding hidden culinary treasures in and around the area for a long time. My obsession with food-related road trips began in the 60s when a Sunday drive to visit my Aunt Betty in Latrobe always involved a stop at “The Italian Store” (also known as DeLallo’s) on Route 30 in Jeannette. Check out the map which is part of my logo and you’ll see that the fork is placed right by DeLallo’s. It’s a place that’s near and dear to me to this day. A trip to Aunt Betty’s was always fun, but a stop at The Italian Store, where long sticks of spicy pepperoni were stacked next to briny vats of black olives and the scent of Provolone cheese filled the air, was the icing on the cake. Or maybe the powdered sugar on the cannoli. At any rate, DeLallo’s is where it all began.
I’m a total wanderer and explorer.
During the past decade, my newly empty nest opened up a whole new patch of free time in my life, and I found myself embarking on more and more food adventures. I filled my days by scouting out artisan cheese deep in the valleys near Carlisle, maple syrup from a fifth-generation sugarer near Somerset, and remnants of Bulgarian bakeries in Homestead. I began blogging about my adventures, then dragging friends on my trips, then taking small groups on specially designed culinary tours. I also began speaking to groups about western Pennsylvania’s culinary treasures and Pittsburgh’s food heritage. I then moved on to designing one of a kind culinary experiences for hotels, restaurants and any corporation interested in a fun and unique product for employees or guests. My background as a registered dietitian and my experience in local media only strengthened my ability to help people to understand and appreciate our food landscape, and to explore the special way Western PA cuisine connects us all. Recently, I became a Certified Culinary Travel Professional (CCTP) and have a certificate in Culinary Nutrition from The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This allows me to connect with culinary historians, chefs, food artisans and history buffs around the world, so I can continue to develop cutting edge, exciting products for locals and visitors to the Pittsburgh area.
My food philosophy is fairly simple.
I’m interested in what’s hot and what’s good for me, but I believe that holding on to food memories and traditions is just as important as adding flax (ground, of course — never whole- it’s not digestible!) to our diets. Personally and professionally, I support small farms, locally made products, and independent restaurant and business owners. I believe that great food happens slowly and on a small scale. I prefer foods with ingredients that I can pronounce, but once in a while succumb to a Banana Flip, a Nik-L-Nip, or anything that involves marshmallow. I don’t judge when it comes to food preferences, but instead I am eager to expand my understanding of our food marketplace and culinary choices and to share my discoveries with others.