Unlike some other chefs out there, I didn’t grow up learning to cook or bake. Like…at all. As a child of the 80s with divorced working parents, I was raised on microwave meals and diner food (bless you, New Jersey). At age 14, I waited tables at our local breakfast spot, where I first fell in love with the hustle and bustle of the kitchen and serving delicious food to hungry customers. I continued to wait tables, scoop ice cream, and cashier at health food stores, one of my favorite spots on earth.  

When it was time to head to college, I chose the town of Burlington, VT, which opened my eyes to a myriad of restaurants, farmers markets, and grocery stores. The variety of food and ingredients was so different from my sleepy rural hometown of Long Valley. It was exciting! So much so, that during my sophomore year, I elected to forgo the traditional meal plan, and instead purchased and made my own food. In a dorm room. On a hotpot.  I know…I’m very brave.  And a little rebellious.

With a love of Spanish language and culture, I spent a semester in Barcelona, where I had more exposure to the different ways people cook and eat. I spent endless hours in markets and finally had a full kitchen for tinkering.  I had the time of my life! Fast forward to teaching  in a middle school Spanish classroom, and there I was, facing the big question: “Is this really what I’m meant to do?”

It turns out…it wasn’t.  So I put my big girl pants on and decided to take a risk. While teaching, I fueled the food and cooking obsession burning inside and attended the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. Every moment of my time there brought me so much joy. I knew in my heart and soul that cooking and feeding people was my absolute passion. Years later, after my daughters were born, I made the decision to ditch to classroom altogether. I started a personal chef business shortly after moving to Richmond, VA, where I continue to live. 

Since 2016, I’ve been creating customized meals for busy families and teaching private cooking lessons. Working with so many different palates and diets, I’ve learned to prepare meals that I know my clients will love, and I think you will too.  I am so excited to share these recipes with you and hope they inspire you to get into the kitchen and create.  Even if it’s not perfect. Even if you’ve never done it before….go for it.

Because life is short, so let’s savor it!

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