Get to know the Chef
What are your top 5 kitchen tools?
All Clad Pots
What is your favorite culinary destination?
Greece – I know it is really a country not a city but the whole country is smaller than any state in the US. I love the island cuisine. How fresh and natural all the food is there.
What smell evokes a wonderful memory?
The smell of cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander. It reminds me of strolling through spice markets in Africa and India and of fabulous stews cooked over large fires that I enjoyed after gorilla and monkey trekking in Africa.
What do you have that is interesting in your refrigerator?
At least 10 different kinds of mustard, dried up tomatillos from my last harvest of my garden, burnt sugar and casareep from west indies cooking experiments, a fig mixture that I have been experimenting with, several types of coconut meat and milk that I have been using to develop new products, and a cup of acorns my son has been collecting
When did you discover you wanted to cook for a living?, What was the defining moment?
I have always loved to cook and have taught cooking classes informally for many years. After gaining a masters degree and working successfully in the nursing and business fields I finally went back to school and graduated for culinary school. It was initially all for fun but I was convinced to try out for the competition team. Being a naturally competitive person, this was it for me. We won a bronze the first year, I placed in a couple of cake competitions, then I wanted a gold. Our team finally won a gold medal American Culinary Federation medal and there was no looking back for me. I started my food company Satisfy Your Soul and started teaching at Southern Season. I finally was doing exactly what I love.
How do you decompress?
I run and do yoga. I find that when I run my mind does not clear but I am able to release stress and get a lot of ideas. This has enabled me to see things in ways I couldn’t see before. I also own my own yoga studio and I find that when I teach and practice for myself that my mind just clears.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I will have a cookbook based on global cooking to “Satisfy Your Soul”. My company will be nationally distributed and I will be traveling the globe working on the next set of products and recipes. And this time I will be able to afford to take my kids with me on my adventure trips.
If you were not a cook/chef, what would you be?
This is the easiest one for me. In addition to being a chef I am a nurse and have a masters in business. My lifelong career so far has focused on health and wellness in some manner. I have worked as a management consultant with organizations to improve their operations. I have worked managing physician practices or departments of a hospital, and I have worked in the clinical aspect of health care to improve individual patient outcomes. I currently own my own yoga studio and spent a lot of time working with individuals to improve their health prior to getting sick.. If I were not a chef I feel confident I would be operating in the health and wellness field in some manner.