About Donna

Donna Rapaccioli, PhD, began her career in academia in 1987 at Fordham University, while she was still a PhD student at NYU’s Stern School of Business. She spent 20 years on Fordham’s faculty before serving as the dean of the Gabelli School of Business, where she holds the rank of university professor and teaches accounting. Throughout her time as dean, she embraced applied learning, encouraging her students to take advantage of the business learning lab that is New York City, and instilled the importance of maintaining a global outlook. She also championed interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration, and established strong ties between academia and industry.

Donna’s research interests lie in the areas of Jesuit business education, earnings management and international accounting; in which she has published book chapters, articles in academic journals, and practitioner outlets.

Donna has consulted for financial institutions in the New York area and has guest-lectured on accounting, finance, and leadership. She is also an independent director and trustee on the State Street Global Advisors mutual fund board.

A self- and family-taught amateur chef, Donna’s love of the culinary arts began at a very young age. Over the years, she has attended and taught cooking classes to feed that passion. As seen from her recipes, Donna’s international travels have influenced her relationship with food, and her portfolio of recipes represents cultures around the globe.

No matter what Donna is cooking, rest assured that it will be simmered and steeped in her grandmother’s belief in the importance of sourcing quality ingredients and investing time and love in every home-cooked dish.

Donna most enjoys cooking for her husband, three grown children, and their families. She has shared her recipes with faculty, staff, and students at the Gabelli School for well over a decade, and through this cookbook, she is delighted to share them with readers.

About the Book
When Life Hands You Lemons, Throw Tomatoes

Part cookbook and part memoir, When Life Hands You Lemons, Throw Tomatoes takes you on a culinary journey while highlighting the ties among business, everyday life, and, of course, cooking. Within these pages, you’ll find more than 100 recipes to create multi-course, delicious meals to share with your family and friends.

Each chapter includes foolproof recipes for at-home meals, from appetizers (try the Salty Guacamole) and main courses (a warming winter Chicken Cacciatore), to side dishes (always-a-hit Syracuse Salt Potatoes and Classic Tomato Salad), desserts (a super-simple Affogato alongside some complicated cookies), and even savory cocktails (the best Espresso Martini you’ll ever have). Hungry yet?

Donna serves up stories from her life—some about her large, loving (and loud!) New York Italian family, and others that highlight key attributes of successful leadership.

This book is for anyone interested in delicious from-scratch, at-home cooking, especially those who want to learn a bit more about business while you’re at it. Most importantly, Donna hopes you feel the love in her recipes and that you pass it along—maybe in the form of a cookie, cake, or soup—to someone you care about.