For Monique Deschaine, founder of Al Dente Pasta, passion for food is genetic. As a child she spent summers soaking up European culture and expanding her palate in her mother’s native France. It was there that she first experienced the complexity inherent in the simplest of foods, and it was those early food forays that laid the first foundations for the creation of Al Dente Pasta. While the days where Monique and her husband Dennis would stay up all night, rolling out pasta dough in a friend’s restaurant kitchen and hoping it would be dry by sun-up are long gone—Dennis and Monique’s dedication to taste and quality is just as present now as it was when Al Dente Pasta started in 1981. Pasta became a passion for the duo who were intent on creating their now famous “tender, but firm” Northern Italian-style pasta—pasta that cooks up to al dente perfection in a mere three minutes. The Al Dente Pasta dream is a true family affair. Not only do Monique and Dennis work together, but completing the team is Monique’s sister, Nanette Carson, serving as general manager. In addition, more than 20 long-time employees help to keep Al Dente’s pasta rich in flavor and texture—no shortcuts, no cutting corners—while offering convenience for today’s consumers.