WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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back, Nicoletti has a clear message for teenagers in town who may also feel like they don't fit in: "It's okay to be different even if you're in a town where it doesn't feel okay to be different." After high school, Nicoletti left the area to attend New York University to study literature. To make money, she began working in restaurants as a waitress and barista. From there she moved to the kitchens, first as a line cook and then a pastry chef. This eventually led her full circle to the place she where had spent so many hours as a child: a butcher shop. While the transition from pastry chef to butcher may seem dramatic, Nicoletti doesn't see it that way. "Once you work in a kitchen, anything goes," she says. Though she considered applying to Ph.D. programs in Victorian Literature after college graduation, Nicoletti found that she couldn't pull herself away from her work as a butcher. It's a career that she's pursued full time ever since. Nicoletti did, however, miss her academic life. So in 2006, she started a book club with a group of fellow English majors. For every meeting, Nicoletti would make a dish from the book. "For me, the natural thing to do when I finish a book is to cook something from the book," she says. In 2008, these meetings grew into a formal literary supper club that Nicoletti would host in her tiny Brooklyn apartment. People would pay to come discuss books and eat meals prepared by Nicoletti. But the demands of hosting these parties in addition to her full-time job as butcher became too great. So she transitioned her passion for books and food over to a blog. She named it Yummy Books. It was a decision that would change everything. With blog posts inspired by current reads, as well as many old favorites, Nicoletti began to share her passion for eating and reading with a broader audience. Not that she ever anticipated just how big her readership would get. "I thought the only people reading it would be my friends and family," she recalls. "I remember being shocked when I found out you could look at your stats and seeing that I had forty readers one day. It quickly got out of control from there." By 2012, her blog was so well received that she earned the attention of literary agents who approached her about the idea of writing a book. When you read any of Nicoletti's work, whether on her blog or the pages of her book, it's obvious why she has so many fans. Though it's easy to picture a butcher, a rare female one at that, as being strong and tough, Nicoletti's writing shows another side. She writes about feeling shy and awkward. She writes about finding love and losing love. She writes about carving out her own path in the world. She writes about topics that everyone can relate to. "Working in kitchens and as a butcher, I know that I'm tough," says Nicoletti. "I'm physically tough, and I'm mentally tough. But bravery is something different. I think the only real bravery I have is allowing myself to be vulnerable and open on the blog…Once you're vulnerable, people share their stories too." Someone with whom Nicoletti loves sharing stories is her grandfa- ther, the retired butcher. And how does he, the butcher who sold his own store years ago so that his three daughters would not feel burdened by such a challenging business, feel about his granddaughter's choice of careers? "He gets such a kick out of it," says Nicoletti, with a laugh. "But only as long as I have something like writing to fall back on." Judging by the success of Voracious, Nicoletti's grandfather has nothing to worry about. 176 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 6 For more information on NICOLETTI and to visit her blog, where you'll find an index of recipes listed by author, go to: www.yummy-books.com. books "passion for books and food"

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