Gina D’Arcangelo was raised in an Italian family in Sacramento, where members of her family owned and operated a couple restaurants. Her mother enjoyed experimenting with various cuisines besides her Northern Italian heritage and taught D’Arcangelo the basics of cooking and serving food. After D’Arcangelo met her boyfriend, Jack Simmons, the two began entering cooking competitions.
In 2011, she entered the chili cook-off for the first time at Woodbridge Winery and has returned ever since. On Oct. 19, D’Arcangelo, of Discovery Bay, took 4th place in the winery’s 11th annual chili cook-off. She recently took some time to answer some questions via email about the competition and her cooking experience.