Providing practical, engaging, and nourishing cooking tips focusing on utilizing what produce is available to us year round.
Prior to my professional cooking career, I spent 6 years as a freelance creative producer for brands and agencies, often managing teams of designers and copywriters and helping clients reach their full creative potentials. I would moonlight as a journalist and on-camera reporter, working with publications and news stations covering anything from the arts to sports.
My culinary career began when I responded to an on-camera talent role for Conde Nast's Epicurious. I was featured as a "home chef", but during that time I felt myself falling in love with the art of cooking. In September 2020 I applied to be a student at the Institute of Culinary Education in their Health Supportive program (formerly Natural Gourmet Institute). One year later I graduated with a certificate and some restaurant experience under my belt.
Now when I'm not catering or personal cheffing for private clients, I keep myself busy by diving into the elements of cooking that I am most passionate about. Growing up in Central Pennsylvania surrounded by the woods and nothing but rural farmland, I realized how formative that environment has lended to my culinary interests.
It took until very recently in my life to understand just how lucky I was to spend so much time in the kitchens of my grandparents. Every other week we would be putting something in canning jars. Grape jelly straight from the vines that skirted their backyard, red beets, pickles, strawberry preserves. We baked bread and traditional Lithuanian pastries. We worked as a group, each had their task. What some would call mindless work was what formed familiar rituals.
My grandparents being first generations in the US, my time spent with them was saturated in tradition. I now cherish those memories of being together to make a meal, or to preserve food to eat throughout the year.
It's wonderful when food tastes great, but when you know it was made with love from hands that want to nourish you, that beats any Michelin star in my book.
My hope is for us all to gather intentionally, to relish moments of enjoyment around food, and to learn a few kitchen tricks along the way.
The fuel behind the fire
Community is at the core of living intentionally. Coming together to enjoy a meal and celebrate life is believed to be the secret sauce for maintaining joy in some cultures. I highly encourage the opportunity to learn from our ancestors or bygone eras. I find joy in inspiring others to connect with the process of sourcing, cooking, and sharing meals. Family style is my favorite style.
Work in a way that supports local farmers and the environment, with an emphasis on indigenous practices and native species. By exploring unconventionally grown ingredients, there is an opportunity to create more demand, whilst working toward navigating away from factory farming methods.
Sometimes all your food needs is "a little of this, and a little of that". This is my dad's favorite way to answer my question of "what did you put in this?" To this day, I describe my cooking style in that way. I want people to feel comfortable veering off the recipe and riffing. Produce picked at its peak does not need a lot of fussing, just a little creative juice to make the flavors shine.