I received my culinary degree from Paul Smith's College, NY, in 1983. After 15 plus years in the food industry, I was hired as a Chef Instructor at the prestigious California Culinary Academy. After five successful years of teaching, I left to follow my dream of teaching a larger audience online.
6 years later, I run the multiple award-winning blog, Food Wishes, which has become one of the most visited video recipe sites online, and is home to over 650 original recipe videos.
My favorite things to cook
I seriously do not have a favorite! I love to cook everything and anything...literally.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Growing up, my Uncle would do an amazing Italian feast that we'd eat after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. He made this incredible pork sausage with garlic, fennel, and a little orange zest that was cured in his basement. Incredibly delicious memories.
My cooking triumphs
I was a dishwasher at a dinner when I was 15, and the cook was one order short of herb dressing for a turkey dinner. I told him I could help and proceeded to grab a handful of croutons and soak them with a ladle of chicken vegetable soup. I added some dried poultry seasoning and fried it in butter for a few minutes until golden brown. He put it under the sliced turkey and no one knew the difference! He was impressed.
My cooking tragedies
I offered to help a girlfriend cook dinner for her friends. She basically left me in the kitchen alone with no equipment, and a package of vegan, gluten-free pasta. She didn't buy anything to make a sauce with except a 1/2 pound of shrimp, which I had to dice so at least everyone could get a little. Not only was the pasta horrible and fell apart, but she didn't have a strainer so it was badly drained and got all sticky and gross. While I was cooking she was telling everyone how awesome this was going to be, and what an amazing cook I was. So, I had to sit there while people choked down what looked like plain diced shrimp on oatmeal. It was horrifying.