Sheila Maffio: Chef, author, artist, adventure seeker

KNOXVILLE— Sheila Maffio works in the Gally Commons as the service manager for Pioneer Services but that is only a portion of her many talents and hobbies.img_0780

When Maffio is not working diligently in the Gally or at the River Grill, she is writing books, painting or embarking on new adventures with her granddaughter Sophia. Maffio is currently in the process of publishing her second children’s book.

Sophia was the inspiration for Maffio’s first published book, “The Adventures of Ma Cherie and Maw Maw“. All of the illustrations featured in the book were created by Sophia.

“It’s about me and my granddaughter Sophia, “she said. ” It’s actually a true story about all of our  little adventures but it has a magical fairy twist to it.”

Maffio’s second book is called “Heart Buddy and the Magical Peacock Ocean”. This book is about all of Sophia’s Build-A-Bears and their many adventures. The book is expected to be published within the next few months.

Aside from writing books, Maffio has a passion for going on new adventures. Whether she is belly dancing, swimming with Manatees, wrestling with alligators, or cooking up new recipes, Maffio is always willing to try anything once.

“To me, you can do whatever you set your mind to,” she said.

Maffio views her passions and hobbies as essentials in life.

“These are the things you need in life—family, food, music, art, love and Jesus,” she said. “If you have all of that you’re great.”

Prior to coming to Johnson, Maffio’s love for culinary arts was fueled by numerous catering opportunities she did for free. To further her skills, she attended Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in 2012 and graduated with honors in 2014 .

“I decided I was going to be a traveling chef,” she said. ” I did that for a year but it was lonely, so my daughters found this job for me.”

Maffio sees her job at Johnson as a blessing and hopes to eventually own a food truck one day.

“To me it’s a true blessing to be here —It’s not about the food but if you are happy I’m happy,” she said. ” I just want to see the world and do good things”

Her goal is to inspire her granddaughter to one day embark on her own adventures. Maffio can be found most days cooking in the Gally or jamming out to her favorite tunes as she preps food for the day.

Written Report: Chastedy Johnson

Video Report: Regan McSherry

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