Interview by Susan Streit, De Gustibus Blogger Did you grow-up in a very food oriented environment? Yes and no. Not professionally. I grew up in Princeton, Vermont and also in Massachusetts. We always ate seasonally. I definitely grew up in a family that cared about food. My mom cooked as required; she loved to entertain. My father had his own business and she entertained for that. My great-grandfather, whom I didn’t know, he was a caterer in Newark and had an ice cream store in Ocean Grove, a Methodist community on the Jersey Shore. My family would summer there and we’d make and serve ice cream. My mother grew up in Baltimore and my grandmother, during the depression, went to run the dining room at the school her children attended. She was born a Southern lady, so she took her cook with her. She planned and organized the menus and while her cook cooked.
How were you inspired to become a chef? Actually, when I was young, about 12 years old, I saw a “Good Housekeeping” magazine article. It looked very challenging. I thought to myself, “wow, you have to buy ingredients and cut them and chop them,”- it was for a stir-fry recipe. That really triggered something in me. I felt that I really wanted to cook.