My passion for cooking began when I was thirteen, when I created tremendous kitchen messes. I cooked for everyone from my prom date, to my little sister, to even my dog, and started to genuinely enjoy bringing people together though food.
I grew up in Seattle, Washington, and went to college in Connecticut. It was in college where I realized I could make my love of food into something more. I spent summers working in any restaurant that would have me, feeling nervous butterflies every time I entered the kitchen. Finally, I became the first graduate of University of Connecticut with a degree in Restaurant Management and a minor in Communications.
My first experience with cooking school was in Florence Italy at “Apicius,” where I became exposed to incredible chefs with a passion for fresh, local ingredients. These seasonal ingredients became an integral part of my cooking, and using them always feels like re-visiting old friends year round. After Apicius, I continued my training at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa Valley, where my identity as a chef developed even more.
After CIA, I went straight to working in San Francisco and Seattle kitchens. While I loved being around the food, I hated the fact that I couldn’t interact with people. I realized that my love of cooking had to do with not only culinary creations, but also the ability to bring people together through a common experience. That is what drives me to cook.
I finally taught my first class at Sur La Table! I become a Resident Chef (head teacher) of the Seattle area based cooking program, and after class students and community members kept telling me to try teaching on TV I loved this idea! Humbly Northwest, the show I created, sparked my food personality career.
Today I am still a Resident Chef for Sur La Table, but now I get to be in the Big Apple! I have been involved in many multimedia projects and make frequent appearances on the local news. I was even lucky enough to be nominated for the 2012 New York Food Film Festival for a recent film piece I co-created. I love what I do, and I cannot wait to see what’s next!