Cooking has been under my skin for as long as I can remember, inspired by the sheer pleasure of cooking with my mom and big sister. I mastered the canned-pear-half-with-cottage-cheese-tail bunny salad, subscribed to Seventeen magazine for the recipes, and had my high school third-year French class over for dinner, which included a soupe à l’oignon that began with beef stock made a couple days prior.
Despite that, it took quite some time before I realized that food was my career path, not simply my hobby. Through most of college—working on a math degree, with engineering aspirations—I just figured that I’d end up throwing fabulous dinner parties. It was my first bite of French food on French soil on a study-abroad program that started the wheels turning. Ham, butter, Dijon mustard on a baguette from a Paris street vendor. Exquisite and mind-blowing simplicity.
Five years later, I began in the stagiaire program at La Varenne, which culminated in receiving the school’s Grand Diplôme d’Etudes Culinaires. That changed everything. Only on very rare occasion do I wonder how my life would have unfolded as an engineer.
With a few decades now under my belt as a culinary professional, in any given stretch of months I might be writing my own cookbook, developing recipes for a client, teaching classes, working on a custom publishing project, consulting for a food-related tech company–with solid doses of travel, great meals, outstanding drinks along the way to fuel the creative process and inspire new endeavors.
My writing work has ranged from serving as food editor for Seattle magazine and being part of the writing/editing team for the ground-breaking Modernist Cuisine book series. I’ve written cookbooks based on celebrated iconic foods such as oysters and wild mushrooms, and inspired by my love of salty snacks and game night entertaining. I’ve had occasion to cook for some fascinating people, including Julia Child and the Flying Karamazov Brothers.
My first job in the magazine world was as food editor (later managing editor) of Simply Seafood. In recent years I have been a contributor to Seattle, my work has also appeared in Alaska Airlines Beyond, Coastal Living, Cooking Light, Sunset, Costco Connection and Spa. I have taught classes not just in regional cooking schools, but also on a cruise ship, on a beach and online, where you’ll find two classes I developed for Craftsy: French Home Cooking and Homemade Salty Snacks.
I have also been actively engaged in nonprofit work for many years, and received a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Washington. I’ve served as the president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and of the Seattle chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and currently serve on the board of Tilth Alliance.
The adventure continues….