I work with people to bring better food and more fun into the kitchen. I love farms and the farmers who produce our food. And I love to feed my family and students well.
Good, fresh, whole food should be a right not a privilege. And knowing what to do with that fresh produce is a big part of a healthy and vibrant community and planet. Yes, cooking can be a burden but it can also be fun, often quick, a stress reliever, and an endlessly rewarding and delicious process. I want to celebrate and elevate that process!
With years of cooking in various parts of the world (and quite of few of those in Oregon blessed with our unbelievable bounty) I have a good sense of what works together, some of the tricks you need to make the simplest ingredients sing, and mostly how to feed hungry mouths with the least amount of stress and the most amount of satisfaction.
I studied food and culture in Italy and Mexico (on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship) and grew up in Germany. I have worked in restaurants, however, my primary experience comes from feeding groups of people on the fly in many settings with whatever was available. These experiences have broadened my notion of what constitutes dinner and I often turn to my repertoire of dinner ideas beyond the classic meat, potatoes, and veggie. My cooking is most rooted in Italian cuisine but also influenced by German, Indian, Thai and many other traditions.
I am the Chair of Slow Food USA and previously was the leader of Slow Food Portland from 2003 to 2008. I am an avid gardener, cook and food activist. I live in Southeast Portland (Oregon) with my husband and five-year old son.