I am a food person. I started logging journals about restaurants when I was 16. I have restaurant ideas born around the same time. In spite of all of that, I took the long way of getting into the food business. I spent time in DC just out of college working for lobbyists, working horses in Telluride, CO to get rid of some of the filth I had accumulated in the world of legislators and lobbyists, sold real estate here in Austin for 5 years when I was tapped on the shoulder by the fates. A client of mine, a super successful restaurant owner, hired me to project manage for his company. One of those projects was a new restaurant. I watched the chef having all of the fun and finally decided to take the plunge into the food world. I enrolled in the Texas Culinary Academy in 2008 for the 9 month program and haven’t looked back!
Working in DC, I learned a lot about the way our government works and that deep pockets win most often to the detriment of our citizens. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the food industry. We campaign against childhood obesity while we fill Monsanto’s coffers with subsidies. The government makes it nearly impossible for small family farms and ranches, that treat the beasts we eat humanely, to operate, while Cargill and Smithfield, who provide the majority of the nation’s meat, raise the animals in their own filth. There is a cognitive dissonance here, it just doesn’t make sense to me, so I decided to do something about it and I see the missing link as education. We have lost the connection between farms and tables. Now, I have the luxury of getting to explore that and have met some remarkable people who are doing their part to make shorter that connection. More on these characters later.
With the time spent in Telluride, I reconnected with the tomboy I was at five, the earth, and being tired in my body from working instead of emotionally exhausted from sitting at a desk under fluorescent lights. I got my curiosity back. I reclaimed my adventurous spirit. Eventually I skied double blacks. Well even.
I am able to bring this sense of adventure to my kitchen, while exposing myself to far less detrimental bodily injury. Cuts and burns heal faster than bones.
I want to connect people back to the land and each other by way of real good food. It is a universal need we all have. If we fight for something better and take back control from the Monsanto and Cargills of the world then we all win.
Above all I like to have fun. Food is a great vehicle for political discussion, but even better for community like cooking with friends and sitting around a table to enjoy one another. To celebrate a day. Any day. So I have started teaching classes. The food comes primarily from local sources, and in most cases I have met the grower. I want people to share in the curiosity, celebration and community with food and to take what they learn in my blog or classes and make it their own.
I live in Austin, TX with my partner, Jo. She is my puzzle piece and my home. We have a Great American Brown Dog named Stella. She is exceptional.