Bonjour, Ciao, and welcome to Pairs Well With Food – the place to discover all things delicious.
This is where I chronicle my travels, swoon over my inspirations, and share my latest creations to help you enrich everyday with moments of joy. 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.
I’m a California girl through and through – I was raised on the beaches of SoCal and still find the most relaxing moments the ones where there’s a soundtrack of waves crashing on the beach.
These days, I live between Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and the road and I live for the laid back elegance that defines the Golden State. Growing up here made me the cook I am today meaning 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 inspire my cooking to be what it is today – easy, fresh, yet a bit adventurous. Though my food is rooted in European techniques and Mediterranean ingredients, I take artistic freedom to mix things up for recipes that are creative, doable, and healthy.
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 is made more fulfilling through 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 magazine, 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 and 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. A web series loosely based on the book, In The Pantry, launched on Yahoo! in April 2013.
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, doing yoga, hiking, and spinning, traveling, and, of course, cooking.