Her friends and family know her as Ally or her alter ego, Alice. Her trademark cuisine is most aptly described as ’Bohemian Bold’-simple, albeit sophisticated dishes – seasonal vegetables, traditional cuts of meats, seafood, fresh herbs, spices and seasonings, fashioned into unlikely combinations resulting in eclectic ‘new’ dishes with varied cultural influences -Italian, Greek, Creole, Southern, European, African and Native American, Mediterranean, and Asian to name a few.
Ally came from humble beginnings, born and raised in ‘The Hollers,’ a narrow valley in West Virginia amid large mountains where morning haze don’t burn off ’till 10am even under the summer sun and dusk begins at three in the afternoon on the longest days of the year.
Ally’s father passed when she was only ten, leaving her Croatian mom with 4 kids to raise alone. Ally’s mom demonstrated the strength and perseverance that sometimes runs on love more than money for fuel – A resourceful, chic and Bohemian woman herself, Ally’s mom was her first inspiration as a cook.
Ally’s namesake is her grandmother, Alice, a little wiry woman, full of piss and vinegar! Growing up Ally spent hours at a time in grandma’s kitchen watching her cook. Afterward, they would head to the porch where she’d listen to stories about all the goings-on in Hollywood and get the highlights of Liz Taylor’s many marriages.
Marshall University is where Ally met her first husband Dan D’Antoni – now coach of the NY Knicks – Danny was an All-American basketball player at Marshall University.
Ally’s husband went on to become the assistant basketball coach at Marshall and, in one of those moments that you know for certain someone is keeping an eye on you, made a decision they would never forget. Making what was a kind gesture, Danny relinquished his ticket on a flight to an away game. Ally and Danny opted to baby-sit the team Doctor’s 6 kids so the Doc and his wife could feel more comfortable about going to the game with the team & leaving the little ones. The plane left on Friday, but crashed upon landing on its return Saturday, killing 37 players, five coaches, two trainers, the athletic director, 25 boosters and the flight crew of 5. In 2006 the tragedy was memorialized in the Hollywood film ‘We are Marshall.’
Despite tragedy, life goes on the way it does, becoming busy, then hectic, then the kids started to arrive, 4 sons one after another in less than 5 years – the first when Ally was 28 the last when she was 32. As if that wasn’t enough, ever ambitious Ally continued to work full time, as well as earning her doctorate degree at the age of 29.
Then, after nearly two decades together, Danny and Ally decided to go their separate ways opening the door to the second half of her epic love story.
Ben and Ally met randomly at the airport when Ben asked Ally to watch his luggage while he parked his car. Ally was 42 when she met the man of her dreams. Proving susceptible to Ally’s charms, the spark was ignited, and they chatted all the way to their flight connection. Ben struggled to remember the name of an Andrew Lloyd Webber play he’d enjoyed in London, and they parted ways in exchanging cards, with Ben still not able to grasp the name of the play.
Ally didn’t hear from him for weeks.
Then out of the blue, she received a post card that changed her life “The answer is: ‘Aspects of Love’ let’s break bread. Ben”
What followed next?
Imagine worldwide travels and adventures -backpacking in Eastern Europe, learning to ski, Harley road trips, wilderness camping, hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim and more. Ben & Ally were married in 1994 with her three boys taking turns walking her down the aisle.
Dr. Ally; teacher, industry expert, author, designer, developer, entrepreneur, founder, actress, mom, chef.
Ally’s career began as an educator, supervising special education and the serving as a school psychologist. A renowned expert in learning disabilities and ADHD, she founded her own company serving children and adults in the Southeast, specializing in innovative programs designed to help them through her unique one-on-one methodology.
In 2008 Ben and Ally relocated to Boston. Ally decided she wanted to do something different so she embarked on a career she’d dreamed of since she was a teenager–becoming actor! At the ripe young age of 58, Ally set off on her next adventure. She took acting lessons and started auditioning, with the persistence that IS Ally, and the tenacity that is bred into kids from The Hollers.
As luck would have it, Ally saw an audition for MasterChef Season 1, and she made it to the semi-finals before being sent home. Naturally she re-auditioned for season 2 and after beating out over 38,000 hopefuls, made it to the top 100 to be invited to Los Angeles to face Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliott with the unflinching style that is Ally!
And Life Now…
All you have to do is visit Alice’s website or Facebook page, and find out that nothing stands in her way of grabbing hold of EVERY second life has to offer. From winning cooking competitions to blogging awards, Alice has not stopped. Actually Alice has just sped up. Stay tuned for more!
Who is Ally?
Dr. Alice D’Antoni Phillips, school psychologist, actress, businesswoman, wife, mother, grandmother, awarded home chef, and prolific blogger is the founder of Ally’s Kitchen and creator of ‘Bohemian Bold’ cooking and living. She was a Top 100 Contestant in Master Chef Season 2.
Ally’s Slant on Life
Life is like an orange—squeezing out every drop of juicy sweet goodness each day then zesting for more flavor.
Ally’s signature ‘Bohemian Bold’ cooking and living defines who she is…because life should be adventurous…go global without stepping outside your home.
Ally is a woman who inspires and influences with her zesty living, her colorful antics, her sense of humor, and her everyday liveliness whether she’s in the kitchen creating a new recipe, hiking the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, on the mat in namaste-land, or caravanning around the world with her Nomad lifestyle.
Awards and Recognitions
• World Food Competition 2012 Las Vegas – Qualified to compete in Sandwich Category. Ally’s sandwich ‘The High Roller’ ranked #17 in the world competition!
• Wisconsin Cheese ‘Grilled Cheese Academy’ grand award-winner for her creation ‘The Bewitching’
• ‘Best Foodie Blogger’ To Tuscany 2012—Chef Nico Atigura judged Ally’s recipe creation the winner.
• Campo Viejo “Color Me Uncorked” recipe award winner, which included cooking in her own kitchen with celebrity chef Anthony Sasso of Michelin-star Casa Mono eatery in NYC.
• Brand Recipe Award-Winner Hodgson Mills – ‘Spicy Angel Hair Caprese’
• Bilmore Savor Summer Recipe Contest – 2012 Fan Favorite ‘Entree’ Category
• Featured in a ‘Taste of Home’ magazine in conjunction with Gallo Family Vineyards
• MasterChef Finalist Season 2 “Top 100 Contestant”
• Featured in Vail Valley Magazine summer 2011 and upcoming Summer 2013 issue
• Stonyfield Farms – Event Blog Winner – Frozen Oikos Decathlon Cpntest
• Ocean Spray Grand Award Recipe Winner
• Four-time James Beard award winner, Rozanne Gold, personally selected Ally’s ‘Raspberry Heavenly Clouds’ recipe as the award-winning recipe for Lenox 1-2-3.
• Her devotion to sharing great recipes and adventurous living through blogging won her a finalist position as Foodie Blogger Correspondent finalist of FOOD AND WINE magazine’s ‘Food and Wine Festival’ in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Mexico 2012
• Celebrity Chef Sam Talbot selected personally Ally’s blog as a prize winner in his contest.
Ally guest blogs on many outstanding foodie blogs including Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s, Cafe Terra Blog, Sumptuous Spoonfuls, and Certified Nutritionist Lauren Kelly’s blog. She has a diverse and global following on major social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Media Contact: Whitney Messervy – 843.504.0396 – firstname.lastname@example.org