I am a self-trained chef and retired (read: recovering) caterer with 25 years experience. Considering that I spent my youth as a sulky, picky-eating waif, this turn has been a source of amazement to my family and should give comfort to parents of such children: palates can change!
For me, that change occurred while living as an exchange student in the Netherlands. Determined not to foist my narrow ways on my Dutch hosts, I tried some things and a new world opened up. The pleasures of eating soon led to the pleasures of cooking and my first cooking job.
A passion can manifest in a mysterious, backwards sort of way.
My background is in the fine arts and I’ve always been entrepreneurial. Cooking remained a constant but secondary to (non-profitable) ventures in stained glass, painting and printmaking. Unlike these endeavors, I realized that people always want good food.
For over 16 years, I ran my own full-service catering company, A Matter of Taste, where my clients ranged from individuals to corporations, universities, non-profits, and the entertainment industry. It was a long, successful run, and I happily sold the company in 2005.
Now I’m a food educator and activist.
I continue my passion for good food by teaching healthy, affordable cooking to children and adults, and promoting fresh, seasonal foods from local farmers. I cook and teach at Second Harvest Food Bank’s Culinary Arts Center and at Magdalene House through Green Fork Academy. I serve on the board of Walk Bike Nashville, a non-profit dedicated to making our city more walkable, bikeable, and liveable. I’m a member of the Community Food Advocates and Les Dames D’Escoffier International.
And, a food writer:
I write articles for several magazines, review restaurants in a weekly column for The Tennessean and contribute poetry and prose to Alimentum, the Literature of Food.
My first cookbook THIRD THURSDAY COMMUNITY POTLUCK COOKBOOK
has been published by Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins, released June 2014.
I have written book one of The Catering Chronicles, A Comet’s Tail of Chocolate, a part memoir, part adventure narrative following my early years in the biz when I ran a cafe in a funky warehouse across from Riverfront Park. This book is seeking its home.
Welcome to my blog:
A place to share stories, tips, and recipes about foods that I’m cooking at the moment, or finding at a farmer’s market, a friends garden, my front yard or teaching about in a class. For all our obsession on food in our culture—the fast, the slow, the exotic, the celebrated—I find that focusing on what we can make simply, with fresh ingredients, can best nourish body and spirit.
Good Food Matters.
“DIRTY PAGES” interactive photography-recipe-story exhibit, Nashville Farmers’ Market, Nashville TN March 19-April 20, 2015
TENNESSEE FLAVORS event for the Randy Rayburn School of Culinary Arts, featured cookbook author March 12, 2015
CULTIVATING COMMUNITY AT THE TABLE co-presentation with Urban Green Lab and Green Fork Academy at Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville TN October 23, 2014
SOUTHERN FESTIVAL OF BOOKS 2014 presenting Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook–Celebrating the Bounty of the Moment October 12, 2014
THAT SOUNDS GOOD food story performance art sponsored by The Porch Writers Collective October 5, 2014 The Stone Fox, Nashville TN
FEED A CHILD, NOURISH A MIND bloggers fundraising campaign for The Lunchbox Fund, sponsored by The Giving Table February 10-17, 2014
FEASTING ON WORDS An Intrepid Dining and Writing Workshop Vanderbilt Dietetic Intern Program, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN November 6, 2013
A PLACE AT THE TABLE nationwide bloggers against hunger, a hunger awareness awareness campaign sponsored by The Giving Table April 8, 2013 and special dinner and screening of the documentary A Place at the Table, April 29, 2013
Fretboard Journal Farm Feast chef 1st Annual Farm-to-Table feast in the field, Turnbull Creek Farm, Bon Aqua Tennessee September 23, 2011
“Good Food and Goodwill: Cultivating Community” talk and presentation at Herb Day Herb Society of America, Nashville Chapter September 2010
“Yes We Can Can” workshop/presentation Nashville Earth Day Festival April 2010
“An Appetite for the Word of Food” panel presentation to the Womens National Book Association, Nashville chapter Davis-Kidd Books, Nashville Tn March 2010
“Art Feeds People” food poetry reading at The Food Show, Cumberland Gallery Nashville Tn February 2010
Southern Festival of Books 2009 panel The Poetry of Food
food stage Recipe Poems
Cooking Wild with Coach Fisher fundraising dinner for Second Harvest Food Bank participating chef September 2009
It’s Easy to Eat Healthy and Local Summer Workshop Metro Action Commission July 2009
Alimentum The Literature of Food reading at Whole Foods Salud! Cooking School May 2009
Nashville Earth Day 2009 From the Urban Garden food talk/demonstration/tasting April 2009