Although I have never been formally educated as a chef, I draw on many years of experience in my cooking. I was often inspired to make what I called ‘concoctions’ as a young child (that just meant throwing things in a bowl and stirring them).
I was usually advised to bake when I begged for sweets and I often cooked meals for myself, and occasionally helped with dinner, as a child growing up in Vermont. We raised chickens for meat and eggs, as well as the occasional lamb. I would cry when animals I had named were slaughtered, but there is something primal, tempting, and comforting in the aroma of a broiling lamb chop.
I knew the horrible smell of chickens being plucked and prepared, but also the wonderful smell of brown rice cooked in homemade chicken stock. I also knew that fresh-cut asparagus from the garden and tiny wild strawberries from the woodsy edge of the lawn were things to be celebrated.
Even when I lived in New York City in a dormitory during the first part of my college education, I tended to cook most of my meals. (I was a freshman and sophomore at New School University, and graduated from The University of Vermont with an English degree in 2005).
As an adult, my love of food grew into my vocation, and I pursued knowledge about food, the history of cuisines, and even the botanical relationships between ingredients, with the eagerness of a book-lover and English major. I worked at several restaurants, which gave me experience with ingredients, tools, and techniques I may never have encountered in my home kitchen.
About five years ago my connections with local families through my other vocation, childcare (nourishment and attention are the common threads), lead me to start this personal chef business, which has become a sustainable and satisfying way for me to support myself by doing what I love: cooking.
I am always gratified by positive reviews from people who eat the food I cook, (especially kids, the toughest critics!), and always excited to try my hand at favorite family recipes and to meet new families and neighbors through my business.
If I, at times, seem a little obsessed with food – driving repeatedly to an orchard three towns away because they press fresh crabapple juice, or stopping by the nearest sugarhouse frequently enough during maple season to be called a regular – at least I can chalk it up to sound business practices!