While growing up in California, Lisa learned about food at her father’s knee. He would keep her home from school to cook with him for friends and family, all the while teaching her family recipes and encouraging her to experiment on her own. After her father moved to McCall, Idaho, Lisa followed. In 1986 she opened the Eat Your Heart Out Deli, and took to cooking huge spreads for the ravenous smoke jumpers fighting wildfires throughout the summer.
Not long after, Lisa accepted the position of manager for the Boise Co-Op Deli, where she began making a name for herself by expanding the Co-Op’s reputation for unique, fine, and specialty foods by broadening the depth of the deli to include imported and specialty cheeses, a charcuterie, fine chocolates, a full-service bakery and more. All the while, Lisa began growing as one of Boise’s most sought after caterer’s as well. Lisa’s fresh, simple, home-grown style of cooking soon became one of the cornerstone’s of Boise’s “foodie” culture, and before long she was being courted for yet another venue in which to share her passion.
Lisa’s fare at the Boise Co-Op Deli had quickly become a favorite for the picnicking at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Knowing that, ISF creative director Charlie Fee invited Lisa to operate a café at the theater itself. In 2005, Café Shakespeare made its debut at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, where it has since become a staple in the theater’s repertoire.
In 2008 Lisa retired from the Co-Op and began focusing on the next chapter of her life’s pursuit. She built a commercial kitchen, affording her more time with her family and the ability to focus on her catering and a’Tavola delivery businesses in addition to Café Shakespeare.
At this time Lisa took the opportunity to travel throughout Europe for a month of slow food travels. She and her family spent October 2008 visiting countless markets and artisan producers throughout Paris, Southern France and Northern Italy and attending the Salone del Gusto (Slow Food Festival) in Torino, Italy. In addition to the family’s slow food travels abroad, the Peterson’s consider their domestic travels to be every bit as much of the family’s “will travel for food” philosophy, and their culinary adventures continue to build the lasting memories of time spent together at the table.
Before long Lisa set out on her next grand culinary adventure. Working this time with her husband Peter (who comes from a food family of the faster variety) and their three children, Lorin, Grace, and Emma, the Peterson’s set out to put their passion for food and their love of hosting community to work.
In 2012 the a’Tavola Gourmet Marketplace was born. And, just as the Peterson’s have done in their home for years, the family is now able to welcome their friends and their new guests to their table to celebrate food with them in all its forms by feasting together.