Ally’s Story


A life well lived and more to come~~

A glimpse of the story that is Dr. Alice D’Antoni Phillips

~~ally~~

Her friends and family know her as Alice or her alter ego, Ally. 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, Ally's StoryCreole, 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 name sake 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 assistant coach of the Los Angeles Lakers – Danny was an All-American basketball player at Marshall University.  

Ally's Story

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 babysit 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.’ Ally's Story

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.

Ally's Story

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 adultsAlly's Story 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!

 

 

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6 comments

  1. Here it is 1:43 am in the morning and I couldn’t sleep and found one of your recipes I’d saved while looking for another. I came here to your site and decided to read your whole bio. Ally you are AMAZING. I had no idea you had done all you had done and makes you what you are. And it wasn’t until just a month ago that I found out we are so close in age. All this time I thought you were in your late forties. I feel even more endeared to you. I so look forward to being able to finally get to see you and know you in this fun contesting field we are in. What an inspiration you are to me and countless others. I feel it a privilege and blessing to know you!!! Much Love, N.

    • Oooohhhh, sweet Nancy!! I can just see your beautiful face as you typed this out at 1:43 am!! You’re my icon, too, you know that…yes, we’re the same age and there’s no stopping us…we are forces to be reckoned with, and age is only a number…we have the veracity and energy of 30 y/olds and we can run circles around them b/c we know the precious value of each moment in life!! Much admiration, respect and love ~~peace & nameste~~ ally

  2. As fascinating as you are talented and beautiful. I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  3. Hi Ally, Just read your blog and COOL. I found your food on Pinterest and looked it up.
    Anyway, Karma being what it is I thought i should atleast ask.
    SO I’m working on two fundraisers both with Autism backgrounds. I have no idea if you could do or wanted to do anything but I really believe in Karma so I’ll ask.
    First my BBQ Fundraiser being held in Leominster, MA. on June 23, 13 To help raise money for a summer camp scholarship.
    Margrett, age 13, suffers from a rare genetic disorder: 17p 13.3, which is labeled under the Autism Spectrum. This affects Margrett in several ways, but symptoms of Chromosome 17 duplication include: impaired intelligence, developmental delay, reduced muscle tone, various facial anomalies, and short stature. Margrett is currently in 7th grade and she enjoys video games, reading, softball, crafts like sewing and many other things. She is super-excited about the chance to attend overnight camp. Margrett needs your help with our BBQ Competition to benefit Scholarships for Camp Starfish. We are asking for food donations, gifts baskets or gift cards, and prizes to raffle or auction. Your donation will help us achieve our goal.

    Next the big research project to help cure Rett Syndrome,
    Sabrina is a lovely girl who lives in Leominster Ma. We are having a Fundraising event to help support the research to cure Rett in her Honor. The event is a Pirate and Princess called ROAR. You can find more information on http://www.girlpower2cure.com the non profit group that helps support different programs for Retts families.
    The event will be at the Elks in Leominster, MA on May 3, 13. We are hoping to find donations of food, gifts or sponsorship’s to help achieve our goal.

    If you would be interested in learning more about any of these fundraisers please email me or call at 978-706-1080
    Can’t wait to try out some of your recipes.
    Robin

    • Hi, Robin! What a nice comment, and thank you for sharing all this about your fundraising. As a former special education teacher, I’m familiar w/both of these syndromes, and your work is meritorious. I’m currently closely involved with several other charitable organizations that occupies so much of my time and resources, so I’m going to have to take a rain check on your two. I’m sure that w/your focus and energy both of these events will be smashing successes! Wishing you all the best and thanks for visiting and sharing w/me your great inspiration! :) Ally

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