Bonjour, Ciao, and welcome to Pairs Well With Food. This is where I chronicle my travels, swoon over my sources of inspirations, and share the latest creations I’ve concocted. Here’s a bit more about me, my food philosophy, and my biography.
I’m a California girl through and through – I was raised on the beaches of SoCal and still find the most relaxing moments where there’s a soundtrack of waves crashing on the beach.
These days, I live between Los Angeles and the Bay Area and make it my personal mission to taste my way across every corner of the Golden State. Growing up here made me the cook I am today so I believe that fresh, seasonal, whole food-based cooking is the key to deliciousness.
Just as California has influenced me, so has my family – a sort of modern day Brady Bunch if you will. With divorced and remarried parents and six siblings with every permutation of relation, we’re a sort of E.U. of a family. We’re a bit Irish, Dutch, Italian, and French, so cured meat, cheese, and good alcohol are our common dialects.
Through the years, I’ve lived north, south, east, and even across the pond, but California has always been in my heart. The sense of adventure, mix of cultures, and laid back attitude here inspires my cooking to be what it is today – easy, fresh, and a bit eclectic. Though my food is rooted in European techniques and Mediterranean ingredients, I take artistic freedom to mix things up for recipes that are creative, easy, and healthy.
Pairs Well With Food is where I share my experiences with you so thanks for stopping by and make yourself at home – mi casa es su casa.
With all my work, I aim to be a culinary curator for today’s taste hunters, like you! My goal is to help enrich your everyday and inspire moments of joy, be it via the meals you craft, the gatherings you design, and the food adventures you embark upon.
I believe everyone has something to teach as well as something to learn, so I encourage you to create, explore, and share the ensuing adventures. To me, life becomes more fulfilling when I build meaningful relationships with my friends, neighbors, and community.
When it comes to the kitchen, I operate on the belief that food tastes better when it’s prepared by hand and made with healthy, whole ingredients. I value the rich artisanal culture and the effort and skill required to produce each element at the table. I believe a successful meal consists not only of good food, but also thoughtful design, artful presentation, and of course, fabulous company!
I’ve been cooking, eating, and pretty much living all things food for a long while. As a teen, I followed my passion and attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. There I started dreaming about working for a food publication, so I moved to Paris to hone my kitchen skills at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. My time in Europe included an extended stay in Florence, where I learned to speak Italian, cook the food, and found a more balanced approach to life.
Eventually, I came across a New York Times article that touted a new style of food magazine named CHOW. In January 2005, I joined the CHOW editorial team, eventually becoming the magazine’s Food Editor. During my five years there, I got my hands in everything from researching and writing to recipe development, food styling, and videos.
Food Network came across my work and Ask Aida premiered in August 2008. In my second show, foodCrafters, I left the kitchen to discover handmade foods from around the nation; it first aired on the Cooking Channel in May 2010. My first cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, was published via Chronicle Books in October 2012.
I currently live in California — splitting my time between San Francisco and my hometown of Los Angeles — where I spend my free time trying new restaurants, building out my home bar, shopping for antiques, honing my photography skills, dancing, and, of course, cooking.