Megan Barone (Baroness, Kitchen Witch, Pasta Lover Extraordinaire)
Food and wine have always been a part of Mixtape Pasta chef and owner Megan Barone’s life. Born and raised in the famed
California Central Coast wine region, Barone grew up making fresh pasta in her mother’s kitchen. As a young teen, she
further expanded her knowledge of Italian cuisine while working at a neighbor’s Italian deli and catering business.
She moved to Seattle in 2007, to be a part of the region’s vibrant farm-to-table food scene, working as a Culinary Instructor
at Sur La Table and Poggi Bonsi, and as a freelance culinary consultant, recipe developer, and caterer, all while working in
the grocery industry part-time.
Wine came into Barone’s professional life when she was promoted to a Wine Merchant at Trader Joe’s, to be in charge of
her store’s wine program. The initially reluctant wine steward decided to further expand her knowledge of viticulture at the
Northwest Wine Academy in Seattle where she earned certifications in both French and Italian wine. Afterwards, she says,
wine became her life. Barone joined Petit Monde as a Wine Merchant in 2017, and immersed herself in the world of natural
wines, working later as a sales manager for Owen Kotler Selections.
After a decades-long career in the food and wine industries, a global pandemic and a newly-reignited desire to connect with
her community inspired Barone to take the leap into full-time pasta making. What started out as a way to feed her food
industry friends and keep quarantine cabin fever at bay, soon snowballed into a 100-pound a week enterprise.
As the name Mixtape suggests, Barone’s first passion was music. An accomplished saxophonist in her own right, Barone
studied jazz performance at California State University, Long Beach and has performed professionally with Stevie Wonder,
John Williams, and The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
Today, her musical influences are an integral part of the Mixtape concept. Songs inspire pasta flavors, while an Emiliomiti
pasta sheeter dubbed Nina Simone cranks out hit after hit of “crazy-flavored” extruded pasta. Sir Mix A Lot (an industrial
stand mixer) kneads farm fresh eggs and semolina into whimsically-named sfoglia dough balls.