Born and raised in the aptly named Paradise Valley of Montana, my indoor playground was my Grandma’s kitchen. My early memories of eggs and homemade cinnamon toast inspire me still. My mom, who didn’t cook, showed me the simple magic of candles, flowers and the other little touches that make a meal more than just about eating. She taught me how to put love, not just flavor, into every dish. As we enjoyed good food, we had the chance to connect at the beginning and end of each day; these are the moments I cherish.
The first Chef I worked for told me, “Build your resume carefully.” I did, working in fine restaurants, hotels, country clubs, and on private yachts. In each location I was the “go to” person because I was not afraid to take creative chances. I found myself sculpting grizzly bears out of butter, using a chain saw to make a rose out of ice and plating a salmon to look as though it was swimming on the platter. As I advanced through the ranks, I had the opportunity to work with some immensely talented people. One of them introduced me to Alaska, where I spent five unforgettable years. Living on the ocean, hand trolling king salmon with my husband and working on a yacht, I thrived. Having access to fresh seafood, my “chef mind” burst with ideas and I could hardly wait to share them with clients and friends. After starting a family it seemed natural to return to my home in Montana…and really get cooking!
Now self employed as an author, Chef and Cooking Instructor , I follow my own rules, stay true to the food and have fun in the kitchen. My success stems from my adaptability, true love of food, and sincere enjoyment of my craft. Regardless of circumstance, I feel confident in the moment. Working with a diverse group of people has taught me to recognize the many unique needs of every job. My quest for learning continues as I seek out the best and the finest in order to meet the expectations of my clients.
While my friends are putting the skewers on the grill, I am adding the final ingredient to my fresh tomato cream sauce. My eleven year old son is rolling out the dough for pasta and my darling nine year old daughter puts on her apron and says,” What’s my job?” I know she wants to sprinkle flour on her brother! These are the moments I hope my family will cherish.