About Maria

My story

Born Maria Ann Gentemann, got hitched and now I’m Maria Ann Rice.

I was Born in Nha Trang, Vietnam in 1971 to a fierce Asian Mom and a courageous Marine Dad.  With my little sister in tow, my mom, dad and I came to United States before the war ended.   We moved to Estacada, Oregon my dad’s hometown.   I loved growing up in this quaint farm town on the Clackamas River.  I became a Farm girl.

My love for preserving food started early in life.  My mothers Vietnamese cooking lessons opened my eyes to flavor and heat.  My fathers baking skills were aromatic to our noses every holiday.  Both parents canned vegetables and fruits from our enormous garden.  It was teamwork that fed our family of 6.  Yes, my parents added two more rugrats to the Clan.

After high school, Portland became my home in 1989.   29 years years later I still love good ole Portland, Oregon.  After years of cooking and preserving foods with friends  I realized I could start my own business.  Off I went on this endeavor of Entrepreneurship finding support in friends and family.

Where does the name “CHOW THIS!” come from?

Long story short.  After years of canning everthing in my garden.  Sharing recipes with friends and family.  My midwestern neighbors Dan and Linda Hilderbrand introduced me to chow chow.  I fell in LOVE!  Being in the Pacific Northwest I wanted to introduce you all to this style of brined vegetables.  So we are easing into the chow chow realm with my versions.  Hence, CHOW THIS! was born in 2017.

So here “I am!”  Come taste the difference.  Then I’ll let you call me the Fruit Salsa lady.  The Pickle Queen.  The Goddess of Brine.  But most of all I want you come see why I am chasing my dream of “CHOW THIS!”