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

elise ongaro caparelli

photographer + recipe developer

I joined the restaurant industry in 2011, working at Salt Bistro in Boulder, Colorado. My brother, Seth, taught me everything I needed to know about making a balanced cocktail. I helped my brother compete in several spirit competitions, experiencing first hand the endless possibilities that can fit into a glass. I believe that cocktails bring people together, and this is what I hope to inspire through Carnelian Cooks. 

evan caparelli

videographer + mixologist

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

carnelian cooks 

together we're ...

Carnelian Bay, located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe is where we call home! This beautiful bay was named in 1860 after a semi-precious gemstone found on the local beaches. Carnelians are a beautiful orange and red color, known as the sunset stone. The town of Carnelian Bay itself holds a special place in our family’s history. 

what is a carnelian

The heart behind why Carnelian Cooks exists today is because of family! Our Papa and Nonno are the inspiration to our craft, from recipe development to the warmth and love we share as a family. 

our family inspires us everyday

recipes and content creation for
food and beverage brands 

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