Growing up in Northeastern Michigan, I first appreciated food through my parents and grandparents. I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad, making sauerkraut with my grandma, and watching my other grandparents save and share the bounty of their garden. My mom endeared the appreciation of home cooked meals and the requirement to sit down as a family for dinner. During college I worked on an organic farm, changing my perspective of food forever, growing food from seed to harvest gave me new respect and appreciation for the plants and animals we eat. As I learned more about growing and harvesting I also became impassioned with cooking. After graduating college, I knew I didn’t want to leave the world of food for a desk in Public or Non-profit Administration, but couldn’t afford to pay off my looming student loans on a farmers stipend, so I wandered off with my degree to find better pay in the restaurant world.
I started working in kitchens after moving to Pittsburgh, first working for an Italian bakery making traditional Italian baked goods like biscotti, pannettone, sfogliatelle, and wood fired breads. During that time I was lucky to have a good friend and chef take me under her wing and let me apprentice in the kitchen and started catering in the evenings. From these two places I started my career in foodservice and hospitality, working in professional kitchens in Minneapolis, Chicago, and San Francisco. I moved to Leelanau county in 2010 where I continued both working in kitchens and on farms, and writing the occasional beverage program. I started working for Epicure midsummer in 2012 and feel fortunate to be part of such a great community that values local sustainable food as much as the farms and people that produce them.