I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember. My mom had huge Betty Crocker Cookbook she got as a wedding gift and by the time I was 8 I was making beef roulade from it. I had to stand on a stool to reach the back burner of the stove. I think I really got into cooking thru eating. When I moved to NYC in my 20’s I was suddenly exposed to all these cultures and flavors. I have the kind of palate where I can taste something and then I know how to go make it so every restaurant experience led to going home and learning how to make that dish, learning about the culture and the ingredients. This was in the 90’s when the internet was new so I really had to work for the information. I would follow around people in ethnic grocery stores asking them how they use this spice or that ingredients. People love talking about their family recipes.
I also got the opportunity to travel a ton in my 20’s and I loved how every new place I went had a spice or ingredient common to us, but used in such a unique way. Just one example is, in mid-eastern cooking cinnamon is used in savory dishes, whereas here it’s only used in desserts. I found every place has something like that and it broadened the way I looked at food and how I thought of combining flavors.
Food for work is new to me though. I’ve been in graphic design for the last 12 years. Before that, I worked for a few years in the wine industry. I waitressed and bartended a couple summers in Martha’s Vineyard. So I’ve been around the food industry but I was always afraid if I did it for work, it might dull my passion. I wanted cooking to be filled with love and joy. Last year I spent 3 weeks in Lyon France (My favorite French city) and took a 9 hour cooking class from this really great American woman who was married to a French man. It sparked something in me and I realized I can do this. So I came home and started doing classes right away. This kind of cooking feeds my joy of it by helping others learn to make food for their families. My focus in class is to teach principals so people can learn how to cook not just how to follow one recipe. I want people to feel confident feeding their friends and family and I want it to seem simple.
The other thing that’s really influenced my cooking is our farm to table lifestyle. I have autoimmune disease and I learned several years ago that eating a diet free of chemicals and processed foods made a huge difference for me. We often buy whole animals from a farmer, so I leaned how to use all parts of that animal. I became very interested in nose to tail cooking. Because I love international cuisine I learned that these off cuts are what peasants have been making taste wonderful for centuries. Also organ meats have a ton of health benefits. Because I don’t buy things in packages (for the most part) I make all our food form scratch and that includes baking bread, making our own yogurt, brewing 3 gallons of kombucha a week etc. That really gets you into the science and chemistry of food.
Why Instant Pot Classes?
I’m a busy mom of two young girls, and the struggle is real. Most nights, I’m trying to get dinner on the table while either holding a child or having them clutch my leg as I chop veggies. Dinner doesn’t happen at my house if it isn’t made quickly and easily.
With that said, I’m also an unabashed foodie, and I don’t want to eat joyless food. I want inspired meals that are truly enjoyable. How does a girl make this happen? Enter, my friend, the instant pot! This kitchen tool has changed my life, making it possible for me to make meals like coq au vin in 30 minutes as opposed to the 3 days it traditionally takes. I have talked up the instant pot to my friends, only to learn later that they barely used it and weren’t having the same success in their kitchens. This inspired me to start showing busy moms just like me how to use this tool to put gourmet meals on the table in under an hour and with minimal clean up.
In addition to healthy meals, I also want my children to be citizens of the world. I have personally found no better way to experience other cultures than through their foods. I want my children to have an open mind and an open pallet, so I expose them to a variety textures, vegetables and flavors.
Special Diet Requests
I have personally spent years healing my own gut and leaning about real food. In that journey, I have done several elimination diets such as GAPS, SCD, AIP and more.
If you are on one of these diets, I can help you adjust recipes to fit your needs or help you develop new favorites to help you in your health journey.
Why Real Food Matters
Because of health issues I went searching for a diet that would help me heal. I discovered some interesting research that has changed the way I view food forever. Because I found hard science that explains how nutrition impacts our genes and development I have been committed to only using real food, organic ingredients. In our home we use only pasture raised meats, raw dairy products, and organic fruits and vegetables. During classes I love passing on interesting tid-bits about nutrias and why the food that tastes the best, is the best for us.