I found my niche cooking at an early age, but took a path as a designer thinking that cooking was just a hobby. Back in college, my fashion styling teacher brought in a food stylist to speak about their profession. That was what I ultimately wanted to do! Even though I am not using my Visual Merchandising major, I think it plays a big part in how I present food.
I'm a trial and error home cook and find that experimenting with different ingredients/flavors is what makes a dish very special and inventive. Gradually, I'm working on my food presentation and think I'm getting a bit better with every dish I make.
I am originally from Texas, so my culinary roots are heavily southern influenced, but now with a Pacific Northwest twist since my move to Washington. I find it incredible to be surrounded by fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables. Since moving out here, the way I cook and see food is completely different from my deep-fried past life (although I indulge from time to time)
My favorite things to cook
Shrimp egg foo young, lentils, and practically anything seafood!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Growing up with my grandma, she always made huge one-pot meals. Her specialty was beef stew with spaghetti noodles. As a kid, I never really appreciated it, but now looking back, I respect more than ever the time and love she put into getting food on the table for us. She is forever my inspiration.
My cooking triumphs
Getting the perfect sear on ahi tuna.
My cooking tragedies
Horribly overcooking very expensive jumbo shrimp in the oven. I wanted to be somewhat fancy and wrap proscuitto around the shrimp. It was terrible and I was cooking for a date at the time. He was very nice about it and said it was good, but I knew he was "just being nice about it". I knew never to make that mistake again!