A fascination with the connections between food, culture and community has fueled my lifelong passion for cooking.  A long-time activist in the Slow Food movement and an advocate for local farms, my focus is on whole, seasonal, local and organic foods.

My initial culinary education was strongly influenced by my grandmother’s home-cooking—the simple hearty fare of German ancestry combined with depression era survival and years of feeding hungry farmhands.  Growing up in the Midwest in a family of farmers, I quickly learned that the whole, seasonal foods coming out of my family’s garden were far superior in quality and taste to anything at the grocery—especially vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes.

After moving to the Pacific Northwest as a young adult, my cooking education was inspired by the new array of foods available to me in this coastal region.  My culinary journey continues as I travel and explore other cultures and their food traditions—bringing back new recipes, techniques and flavors to add to my understanding of food and cooking. I share this knowledge through volunteer work, teaching cooking classes, helping customers find just the right tools at The Kitchen Engine and as a personal chef.

I believe in the kitchen table. We connect though food and add value to people’s lives by feeding each other and eating together. We eat for sustenance as well as pleasure. I am passionate about helping others to confidently create opportunities for connection through food.