A fair amount of my childhood was spent in my mother’s, my grandmother’s and my great-great Aunt Ida’s kitchens. It was there that I began to develop a passion for food and cooking. I also entertained myself for hours on end fooling around with and eventually becoming fairly proficient with my dad’s drafting tools. With his encouragement, I took a number of drawing and painting classes as a youngster.
At Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, my curriculum included Journalism, Advertising, Radio, Television and Film. I received a B.A. in Communications from the Northwestern School of Speech. Upon graduation, I worked for several years in media. I put together audio-visual sales presentations for a Chicago Department store. I was both newscaster and disc jockey for a progressive rock radio station in my hometown, Columbus, Ohio before moving to New York and becoming a film archivist for CBS News. It was during this time that I began to wonder about the road not taken.
I enrolled in a summer course at Lavarenne École de Cuisine in Paris. I immediately started making arrangements to go back and complete the full program the following year. I was accepted as a stagiare or intern. As part of this work-study program, I was responsible for translating lessons for English-speaking students and for preparing a mise en place for each class, including but not limited to shopping for ingredients, making stocks and sauce bases, and doing whatever was required to keep the classes running smoothly and the chefs from flying off the handle. While living in Paris I was fortunate enough to be able to work in French restaurants and to see, from the back of the house, how they function. I was awarded the Grande Diplome and went on to pursue a career in cooking which included slinging burgers and hash, teaching catering at a vocational school and being the chef of a small New York hospital in addition to working in a number of restaurants. Eventually I was able to land a small freelance food styling job and I knew I was home.
I currently divide my time between New York City and the Hudson Valley and work primarily as a Food Stylist, Tabletop Prop Stylist, Writer and Recipe Developer.