I’m Jeanne Ponessa Fratello, the founder and editor of Jolly Tomato. I am a food and travel journalist who loves to share amazing dishes and destinations. I also made it my personal goal to get straight to the source of as many foods as possible, which you can read about in my Real Food series of farm and factory tours.
I started my career as a reporter in Washington D.C. for Congressional Quarterly and Education Week. In 1997, I moved to California and began working as a speechwriter in higher education. All throughout this time, I always loved to cook and write about food, and I did a great deal of freelance food writing. I currently write the Jolly Tomato as well as Manhattan Beach News, an online news site about Manhattan Beach.
I have enjoyed many working partnerships with companies and brands that I love and trust – including food brands, media channels, and travel destinations that place a high priority on food. I have served as an ambassador and/or blogger for Dole, Netflix, Legoland California, and Terranea Resort. I have also worked with Cacique International, the California Strawberry Commission, the Idaho Potato Commission, the California Farm Water Coalition, and more. In 2021, I traveled to Italy to explore San Marzano tomatoes with the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe campaign.
I live in Southern California with my husband Dave Fratello, author of Manhattan Beach Confidential, and our two sons. Whatever “spare” time I have, I spend either cooking, swimming, hitting the beach, playing Words With Friends, or looking for new foods and destinations to write about.
You can reach me at jeanne [at] jollytomato [dot] com