I was already trying to perfect a marinara sauce recipe when I was just 11 years old. So, making the career decision to become a chef when I was at a crossroads in my life only seemed natural. I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 15, with only a 5 year hiatus to try to have a more “grown up” job in finance. This hiatus only further cemented my joy and NEED for cooking to be a part of my life. After graduating Suma Cum Laude from San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, I started working at Whole Foods Market, doing recipe development and kitchen production.
While working at Whole Foods I became much further immersed in the world of special dietary needs. My mother suffers from issues triggered by gluten, so I already had a fair amount of knowledge regarding the gluten-free diet. Working at Whole Foods allowed me to become more familiar with a broader scope of people’s special dietary needs and how overwhelmingly obvious it was that they needed alternative recipes. I saw that as an exciting challenge and quickly dove into developing ways to serve that need.
It was during this time that I also began to grow in my current career as a private chef and event caterer. For 3 years, I cooked privately several days a week for a few affluent clients and spent much of my time off researching and working to develop new recipes within the confines of a gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free diet. After those 3 years, I decided to take some time off from being a private chef to focus solely on event catering.
I was already trying to perfect a marinara sauce recipe when I was just 11 years old.
On the more personal side, it was during this time that I was also struggling a lot with my weight and my general feelings of well-being, things I’d struggled with since I was 18. Then, I discovered the Paleo Diet and after substantial research decided to completely remove gluten from my diet. That was my first step into eating Paleo and eventually to adopting Whole30. Once I cut out grains and dairy, along with the soy and gluten, I felt leaner, mentally sharper, consistently had more energy, and experienced a much happier sense of well-being. I was hooked!
During the entire year and half I took off of being a private chef to focus on event catering, I consistently received requests from my catering clients to cook for them on a regular basis. So, I decided to take up being a private chef again for two select clients that wished to share my services. It wasn’t long before more and more of those clients’ friends and family wanted to be a part of sharing. So, I decided to take that service to the next level, allowing more people to enjoy the luxury of having a private chef, without the hefty price tag associated with one. Plated With Purpose was born, giving my desire and passion to spread love through real, good, food a second home alongside my catering business.
For me, living a balanced life is living a happy life. When I’m not in the kitchen, you can find me at one of our beautiful, San Diego beaches, checking out new restaurants with my amazing boyfriend, entertaining our four doggies, planning our next vacation, or lounging poolside with friends.