Carnelian Bay is where Elise and Evan call home on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. It was named in 1860 after a semi-precious gemstone found on the local beaches. The gemstone is a beautiful orange and red color, believed to encompass health, luck, stability, grounding, and a zest for life. The town itself holds a special place in their family’s history. 

what is a carnelian?

we're so glad you're here!

Elise Ongaro Caparelli started Carnelian Cooks in 2022 out of her grandparents’ kitchen in Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe. Her love for food is inspired by her big, passionate Italian family where cooking and hosting is at the core of her family’s values and traditions. Her Nonno, Quirico Della Santina, established an award winning restaurant, Della Santina’s, in Sonoma, California, where Elise learned to appreciate great food. 

Elise Caparelli

founder + recipe designer

Evan joined the restaurant industry in 2011 and worked at Salt Bistro in Boulder, Colorado. Evan's brother taught him everything he needed to know about making the perfect cocktail. Evan helped his brother compete in several cocktail competitions, experiencing firsthand the endless possibilities that can fit into a glass. Evan believes that cocktails bring people together, and this is what he hopes to inspire through Carnelian Cooks.

Evan Caparelli

founder + chief mixologist

When Elise and Evan crossed paths in Boulder, little did they know they would become the ultimate foodie duo! As they bonded over their love for cooking, they found themselves constantly creating new dishes and mixing up delicious cocktails. Whether it's a holiday gathering or just a casual get-together, Elise and Evan jump at any excuse to bring family and friends together through food and drink. Through Carnelian Cooks, they want to share their passion for cooking with the world! 

Carnelian Cooks 

together we're...

The heart behind why Carnelian Cooks exists today. Nono is a true inspiration to our craft, from recipe development to the warmth and love we share as a family. 

our family inspires us everyday

Meet nonno

Recipes and content creation for an inspired life in Lake Tahoe, California.

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