I have spent the better part of my life captured by the intrigue of foreign cultures and cuisines. It began before I can remember when at 2 years old my father accepted his first of many overseas corporate assignments. My parents packed up the house and kids and headed off to Tokyo, Japan.
We did not stop there. The rest of my childhood through high school was spent exploring the new locations my Dad’s career sent us. Life took us around the world many times, stopping for a few months to years in the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, India, France, Zimbabwe and Kenya, not to mention a few different states in the US. All of the stops on the adventure helped to create a great curiosity about the different foods and traditions this world has to offer.
When I set out on my own, I found that it was the food that inspired me the most and in an effort to learn more about creating the wonderful dishes I grew up with, I went to the Culinary Institute of America to learn the trade. After two years of culinary and one of pastry, a few miscellaneous jobs here and there, I found myself having to make a decision. I had been offered two very different positions, one, my dream job, assistant pastry chef at one of the countries premiere Asian restaurants and the other, the private chef to one of the most successful business women in the country. Money talks, and I chose the latter.
I spent ten years in private homes, with long stints for two families. I moved to Vermont to open my own place, Essex Green, a successful bakery, café, and prepared food market. After a year and a half, I closed the doors to concentrate on catering to a select group of clients, here at their homes in Vermont or traveling with them on vacation or to other homes across the country.
Catering all these years to the ways of others inspired me to set aside some time for my own adventuring. I have now gotten to a point in life where a few times a year, I can again experience the world, this time, the way I like to, with great emphasis on the different flavors and foods this world has to offer — still learning all the while, to eat, drink, and enjoy life, like they do.