I’m so glad you’re here!

This space is where I like to hang out to celebrate food…the touchy-feely stuff – you know, seasonality, flavors and textures, but also the nitty-gritty stuff – the science, the technique, the how-to, and let’s not forget the practical stuff – weeknight dinners, treats for school, and weekend entertaining.

Life is busy, I get it.  I’ve got 2 teenagers and am in the thick of it myself.  I hope this can be a place where you can come to learn and find inspiration, but also to bridge the soft side of food with the daily-grind reality of feeding our loved ones.  After all, life is short AND you are what you eat, as they say – so let’s celebrate our days with local, beautiful and delicious food, made at home, and shared with our favorite people.

How my love affair with food started…

For me, it all began with a trip to a flea market with my dad in early May when I was just a young girl.  I found a paperback copy of Julia Child’s The French Chef Cookbook.  I’m not sure why I was drawn to it, but I was.  I bought it for 25¢ and gave it to my mom for Mother’s Day.  I will never, ever, ever forget the first time my mom made Sauce Bernaise from that cookbook.  I had never tasted anything so delicious in all my life.  I think that was the magic moment for me and when my love affair with Julia Child began.

As I grew older I watched black and white episodes of The French Chef on PBS with my mom.  We loved Julia – her giant personality, her extensive cooking knowledge, and her natural ability to teach and make the most delicious French food accessible to everyone.

Fast forward many years and I was finishing graduate school in Washington D.C. and beginning my career in international finance.  I was so fortunate to be able to travel so much for work, often eating at such amazing restaurants – continuing to broaden and deepen my palate – and feed my growing interest in food.

I loved my life.  I worked long hours on interesting projects, traveled, entertained, and cooked more and more, to relax.

And then September 11th happened.  

As it turns out, my mid-life crisis came early.  Being stuck at the office until all hours of the night because the city was basically on lockdown and eventually driving past the Pentagon – life seemed so fragile.

Everything that had been lurking in the back of my head about chasing my food passion was suddenly front and center, and I couldn’t seem to rid myself of it.  Long story short, I applied to culinary school, quit my job, and never looked back, all in a matter of a few months.

Culinary school not only opened my eyes wider to the world of food, but also planted a seed in my heart for teaching.  I spent long days immersed in classic French technique and eating the most delicious food.  I, quite literally, could have stayed in culinary school for 10 years if there were a way to have made that happen – it was the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done.

Near the end of culinary school, a few students in my class were chosen to help local chefs prepare a dinner for Julia Child’s 90th birthday.  Yep – this is where the story comes full circle!  I got to work on a dinner for ‘the one and only’ – my special culinary inspiration from way back when.  Even at 90 years old, she was larger than life – gesturing, talking, and laughing.  At the meal’s conclusion, she called all of the kitchen staff out into the dining room, thanked us, and proceeded to tell stories around the table.  I will never forget that moment in my life – it was so unbelievably special.

Fast forward almost 20 years, a marriage, two kids, two dogs, a move, restaurant work, a catering business, a recreational cooking school, professional recipe development work, virtual cooking classes and team building experiences and well, here I am!  Every day I count my lucky stars for the privilege of doing what I love most – creating memorable and delicious food experiences. 

We should all be so lucky.