Monica Jean Guglielmina of Ridgefield, CT died on Monday, March 7, 2022, at the age of 66.
Born in San Francisco, CA to the late Lewis and Helen (Joynt) Guglielmina on March 5, 1956, Monica is survived by her sister Mary Lou Lange and brother-in-law Donald Allen Lange, niece Marnie Allison Lutz and husband James Edward Lutz, and their three children Travis James, Brayden Henry and Connor Edward and various aunts, uncles, cousins in the Eureka -Ferndale area of northern California.
Throughout her time at Woodside High School, Monica dominated the thespian scene as her creativity, fearlessness and raw talent on stage was undeniable. Monica made us laugh and cry and her larger-than-life persona burst from the stage and enveloped us all, connecting her to the audience, and all of us to her. Monica never lost touch with her high school acting teacher, George Ward, who was her champion and helped Monica navigate her energetic desire and future place in NY where she continued her deep love for the theatre and attempt to make her way there.
When arriving in NY, just following High school, Monica, a very determined thespian, procured a job, place to live and enrolled in acting classes at HB studios in Manhattan in a days’ time. There she studied with Austin Pendleton. And so loved it! Her longtime friend, actor Bobby Dorfman, recounts that Monica understudied on Broadway in a play titled: The Runner Stumbles with Austin Pendleton, director and starred in ‘Man Proposing,’ with Bobby Dorfman, also with direction by Austin Pendleton.
But soon she began to feel that acting did not satisfy her creative spirit and when she discovered her talent for cooking, she knew she had to follow her instincts. Her creativity as a performer matched by her innate talent with food created a force none of us had ever encountered before. Quite simply, she was brilliant!
It did not end there. After graduating The Culinary Institute of NYC and The Ann Wigmore Institute, Monica’s next stop was to the Caribbean and The Green Parrot, the restaurant in Saint Thomas USVI where she became the Executive Chef. This was the beginning of her second successful career. A short time later she became Executive Chef at Pat LaCorte’s, The Fiddle Leaf, another fine dining restaurant in Saint Thomas.
Following the tragedy of Hurricane Hugo, Monica moved to Paris where she opened her own restaurant in partnership with Brigitte Barniaud Jonet called Le Grand Large.
In the late 80’s, Monica moved back to the Caribbean to Virgin Gorda BVI as she was involved in the opening and the incredible success of the Five Star Restaurant “Chez Bamboo”, which then led to the second opening of ““The Fat Virgin” also in Virgin Gorda.
Additionally, Monica worked in the “private chef circuit” on Virgin Gorda for vacationers visiting the Islands and it was in this capacity that eventually she left the Caribbean and settled on the east coast as a private chef.
For the past 20 years, Monica has worked as a private chef for a variety of families, as well as catering events for various businesses throughout the eastern seaboard.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 10:00 AM at St. Mary’s Church; 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Interment will take place privately, there will be no calling hours.
Contributions in Monica’s memory may be made to ROAR, the local animal shelter in Ridgefield, http://www.roar-ridgefield.org
Kane Funeral Home, Ridgefield is in care of funeral arrangements.
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