Aida Mollenkamp

Aida Mollenkamp Portrait by Bonnie Tsang
Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Thanks for stopping by Pairs Well With Food. Please kick off your shoes and make yourself at home – mi casa es su casa.

I’m on a mission to help you make every day delicious, be it through food, travel, design, music, or DIY. My first love is food so your find load of contemporary California recipes which focus on whole foods, fabulous flavors, and effortless sophistication.

About Me

I’m a California girl through and through – I was raised on the beaches of SoCal and still find the most relaxing moments 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 and I believe that fresh, seasonal, whole food-based cooking is the key to deliciousness. I share contemporary California recipes that are approachable with effortless sophistication.

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 across the pond, but California has always been my first love. The sense of adventure, mix of cultures, and laid back attitude here inspire my cooking to be what it is today – effortless, 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.



My goal is to share delicious, 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.



I started cooking in high school and decided to make it my career when I attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. There I dreamt of working at a food magazine and eventually moved to Paris to hone my kitchen skills at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. My time in Europe included time in Florence where I learned to speak Italian and cook the food.

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 video hosting.

Food Network came across my work and Ask Aida premiered in 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 2010. My first cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, was published by Chronicle Books in 2012.

In 2013, I began hosting the Yahoo! web series, In The Pantry, Entertaining 1:01 and Cooking 1:01. Additionally, I’m working on my second cookbook and am part of the duo who hosts the tongue-in-cheek YouTube lifestyle series, Domestic Partners. I spend my free time constantly in search of adventure be it with friends, building out my home bar, shopping for antiques, listening to live music, traveling, or, of course, cooking.



Wanna get in touch? Let’s be friend on the internet! You can find me on  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ 

Have something pressing to ask me? Feel free to email me at contact[at]