A stroll through the halls of Gracie Mansion, the residence of the mayor, would provide one with a wealth of history and a lifetime of memories. Each room within the residence is adorned with antique paintings and vivid portraits, providing one with a window into the past. Depictions of New York during the great depression for example, portray a time of struggle and perseverance, as well as the emerging leadership that pulled America out of despair. Just as the halls whisper stories of the past, a most uncharacteristic part of the mansion sits witness to the breakthroughs of the present. The importance of this room is often overshadowed by the modest scents of thyme, rosemary, and garlic being emitted from its interior. Masked in these pleasant scents, Gracie Mansion's kitchen, led by Anna Maria Santorelli, emerged as more than a kitchen but a stage for political breakthroughs. How can a kitchen be considered a political stage? Under Ms. Santorelli's leadership, the Mayor's kitchen staff became a versatile asset in the realm of diplomacy. In addition to preparing daily meals for the mayor, his family, and staff, the Santorelli kitchen planned and oversaw all political galas, official dinners, and local parties. A few notable individuals to visit included President Ciampi of Italy, former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and Barbra Streisand, among many. It was upon these individuals that Anna Maria impressed both her capabilities a chef and a leader. Her ability to plan and execute any task made her an invaluable asset to the Guiliani administration, and this would be seen in her many promotions. Her ascent to this position of prominence can be traced back to her humble beginnings.