What could be better than waking up on a Saturday morning and making my way down to the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market. I love to be surrounded by fresh organic produce, spectacular bursts of color from the flower sellers and new varieties of fruits and vegetables. I love my relationship with the growers. It always puts a smile on my face and gets me in the best mood! I come home happy with bundles of food and endless possibilities for the week ahead.

The process of cooking is integral to the way I see life and how I hold myself in relationship to the world. My heroes are cooking pioneers like Alice Waters, who has lead the way to fresh, local, seasonal foods and people who cook with so much passion their food can’t help but taste good. People like Donald Link from Herb Saint in New Orleans who uses the ingredients from my childhood and makes them sublime, Benedetta Vitali from Zibibo in Florence whose food traditions from the earth through her bones to the stove are magical. Creating a fabulous meal melds all of these factors together and lets me align my creative juices as I strive for tasty meals that are a feast for the eyes and palate, while being healthy and nutritious.

The food that I cook for my clients and with my students is also the food I feed to my family. So this is the most important work for me: to keep those I love healthy and well-fed.

Fine cooking begins with the senses: the colors, the smells, the tastes, are all alive at that moment.