“I like to keep things simple. In light of the overabundance of information out there about healthy eating, I’ve devised a little saying to keep things uncomplicated: Eat the good stuff, remove the bad stuff, and don’t be afraid to change what you need to along the way.”
i’m happy to report that life in Ojai is beyond my wildest dreams. since moving here and starting my own business, i have had the pleasure of creating weekly menus using the best produce my hands have ever touched. additionally, I have been involved with The thacher school dishing out plant based lunches for the students + faculty, as well as teaching an after school cooking class for 1st, 2nd, + 3rd graders at monica ros school. just recently, I had the incredible opportunity of working as a creative consultant with LA’s famous cafe gratitude.
My first experience in the kitchen was with my Grandma Merle. Merle hails from Virginia and cooks traditional, southern-style soul food on her farm. Her passion would fuel my own culinary journey to New York City. I’d work my way through kitchens, cooking everything from ten-course tasting menus to rustic farm-to-table cuisine.
I took frequent trips to upstate New York, and it was there that I visited organic farms for the first time. I met Madalyn Warren and her mother Ji, whose East Branch Farms sold organic vegetables and creative variations of Kimchi at their farmstand. They had a separate garden where Ji grew her favorite Korean leafy greens and Madeline collected wild watercress alongside a nearby creek. My cooking would change forever after working just one day on their farm. I suddenly had the desire to not waste one bit of food after I saw how much work it took to grow it. Today I spend time on farms whenever I can to remind myself of how much effort farming involves.
In 2015, my career as a chef was right on track and I was very pleased with what I had accomplished. But something was missing. I received health coach certification from The Institute of Integrated Nutrition in New York as my interest in nutrition and wellness began to grow. I wanted to challenge myself to create more than just an experience of other-worldly flavor with food. In 2016, I relocated to Los Angeles where I spent a year practicing plant-based cooking at The Springs. As I learned more about plant-based nutrition, I wanted to share the benefits I experienced with others, (not least of which was the marked difference in the way the food I ate tasted!). I wanted to improve people’s health, using food to change old, unhealthy habits and evolve their palate. I saw how exposure to new flavors and textures could reroute cravings from unhealthy foods to those that are wholesome and nutritious. I discovered that becoming a personal chef was a way in which I could work with people on a one-on-one basis, implementing dietary changes and improving overall health. Demanding schedules and busy households make it hard to maintain an ideal diet. As a personal chef, I’m able to provide clients the delicious healthy food for which a lack of free time often does not allow.
I like to keep things simple. In light of the overabundance of information out there about healthy eating, I’ve devised a little saying to keep things uncomplicated: Eat the good stuff, remove the bad stuff, and don’t be afraid to change what you need to along the way.
Services include: private chef, intimate events catering, group classes, consultant, + coach.