I'd like to tell you that I grew up cooking, but I didn't. I faintly recall a twice failed butterscotch pie, pizza from a box (remember that little can of tomato sauce?), and whipping a lot of cream on Thanksgiving.
My first real forays into cooking came just after getting my BA in English Literature, at UC Santa Cruz. Post graduation, I was lucky enough to work at the fabulous Saturn Cafe (second generation), where I assembled countless sandwiches, ladled huge amounts of soup, and crafted many a Chocolate Madness. Later, I moved north, to the San Francisco Bay Area, and was lucky enough to spend a couple years at the Brick Hut Cafe in Berkeley. The nurturing and progressive environment of The Hut got me hooked on cooking, and although my path later took me to other realms of the food industry (organic produce sales, bakery distribution, yacht charters!), the deep love of cooking learned at that small Berkeley cafe kept the inquiry into and process behind good cooking alive in me. This eventually led me to the Seattle Culinary Academy, and a degree in culinary arts. Best choice I ever made. While studying at the SCA I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop at the Quillisacut Farm School, where my formal training was deeply supplemented by a weeklong immersion in sustainable kitchen practices, farm-to-table, community building and deep awareness and gratitude for the cycle that is growing, preparing, and enjoying food. Return trips to the farm deepened my appreciation for Eastern Washington. A blown engine on an '88 Westfalia brought me to Spokane in the Fall of 2010. One year later I moved here for good.