Born and raised in California, Lael Hazan grew up in a family that was always interested in history and food. She graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz with highest honors in western European history with a subspecialty in the Italian Renaissance. She continued pursuing her studies at the Pardes institute in Israel. After completing graduate school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with dual degrees in social work and Jewish communal service Lael was recruited to work for the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation. In 1997 she married award winning Italian cookbook author and teacher Giuliano Hazan. Together, they run Cooking with Giuliano Hazan at Villa Giona, a cooking school near Verona Italy. In addition she teaches Italian Food History at the Adult and Community Education Center for the Sarasota County School Board. She has served locally on the boards of G-Wiz and the Goldie Feldman Academy; hosts a radio show, Focus on Fabulous Food for WSLR 96.5 FM, blogs for: creativeloafing.com Sarasota and Tampa, saveur.com, giulianohazan.com; and educatedpalate.net. Lael lives in Sarasota Florida with her husband and daughters Gabriella and Michela.