About 15 years ago, I began to feel there was something missing from my meticulously planned life. That something was passion—and, pastry! I completed the Pastry Chef program at Tante Marie's Cooking School in San Francisco while maintaining my full-time marketing job, then quit and started my own personal chef service, Vanilla Bean Cuisine, in 2006.
I spent over 10 years cooking weekly meals for busy families, special-occasion dinners for romantic couples, and fun party foods for celebratory gatherings. And during that time, as I perfected crowd-pleasing recipes, I began thinking about how to eat more responsibly.
What does eating responsibly mean? To me, it means thinking about how our meal choices affect the health of our environment, and ourselves. To that end, I’ve researched which foods have the least environmental impact to harvest, catch, or farm. While there are differences of opinion on particular foods, eating seasonal, local fruits and vegetables wins, always, followed by pulses and grains.
So that is the starting point of most of my recipes. You'll find plenty of vegetarian and vegan recipes on my site, but I confess I am an omnivore. I stick mainly to seafood and chicken, as it seems almost unanimous that beef and lamb have the biggest environmental impacts. If I'm going to eat meat, the recipe has to be delicious—and even better if I can stretch it into more than one meal. I try to buy organic meat and support local farms wherever possible.
All that said, I'm not perfect, and I'm just trying to move in the right direction. I try to eat and cook healthy meals, using fresh seasonal ingredients and minimal processed foods—though a woman cannot live without a few desserts and cocktails as well!
So join me as I share my favorite recipes—food that nourishes from the inside out and is easy enough to pull together on a weeknight, and elegant food that feels special enough to entertain family and friends but doesn't require long hours in the kitchen.
Now sit down, take a deep breath, and dive in. Find a recipe that piques your fancy and give it a try. Buy the best quality ingredients you can afford because simply prepared fresh food goes a long way. Let go of your Pinterest fantasies of perfection and just cook. Then invite your family and friends to join you around the table. This is where the magic is. ❤️
Please feel free to comment on my blog posts or email me with any recipe questions using the contact form below. You can also use the form to contact me regarding sponsorships or food photography. Thanks!