For those of you who don’t know me, in 2008, I turned in my top-secret clearance and management consulting job to indulge my passion for healthy cooking. Upon completing the chef’s training program at Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, I worked in the kitchen for Executive Chef Dean Rucker at Golden Door in Escondido, California. Upon returning to New York City, I completed an apprenticeship with Executive Chef Jeremy Bearman in the kitchen at Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate where the focus is on modern, healthy American cuisine.
Following a move to Washington, DC, I worked in the kitchen for an exciting new venture between forces in the restaurant and catering worlds, Jose Andres Catering with Ridgewells. At Three Stone Hearth, a community supported kitchen in Berkeley, California, I spent three months cooking delicious, nutrient-dense food using traditional methods advocated by the Weston A. Price Foundation. I am a member of the American Personal and Private Chef Association and a certified food handler. After almost two years cooking and baking at Metropulos Fine Foods Merchant, I am out on my own. As chef + owner of Flagstone Pantry, Inc., I am baking for local clients, cooking for private events and free-lance food writing in Santa Barbara,CA.
Several years ago, I made some simple changes to the way I plan, select, and prepare food for meals. As a result, I lost weight, gained energy, sleep better, and I feel more fit than ever before. As a 40-something putting my healthy cooking claims to the test, I get lots of requests from friends and family for menu ideas, recipes, and resources. After untold years of sharing musings and recipes via email, I’ve decided to consolidate all things food related here.
As an eight-time marathon finisher, I don’t think we have to choose between being fit or a foodie, nor do I believe we have to choose between what we want to eat and what we should eat. Delicious, beautiful, health supportive food fuels our activities and leaves us satisfied. If we watch what we eat 80% of the time, and stay active, we leave room for life’s small indulgences.
Having been trained in health supportive culinary arts, I am committed to cooking with whole grains, fresh produce, high quality animal proteins, and healthy fats. I avoid processed, refined, and factory-farmed foods. I believe we are what we eat and that food plays a critical part in the healing process. I naturally enjoy teaching others to cook and take great pleasure in preparing healthy, delicious meals for family and friends. Now it’s your turn. Get your yummy back.