I love cooking because it is a great way to bring family and friends together. As a kid, my parents made the Saturday meal the focus of our day, cooking labor-intensive dishes like stew or spaghetti sauce that would simmer all day long.
Then in college, my friends and I enjoyed potluck dinners where we would each bring a dish and share recipes which made cooking a fun, social activity. Today, going to a new restaurant or cooking a new dish is a means of celebration, such as an anniversary or birthday. Being a huge fan of travel, I believe that the best way to learn a new culture is through eating the food and sharing a meal with the local people.
Now I’m lucky enough to make cooking my career.
My journey to becoming a chef has not been direct. I went to college and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design with a minor in painting and photography. After a few years in lackluster office jobs, I realized that I needed to pursue my passion.So I did what felt natural to me - cooking! I began working as a personal chef, catering dinner parties, and cooking weekly meals for a few clients; meeting people through my website and blog.
Then I began working for Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis. As sous chef, I learned about the importance of sourcing from local, small farms who use sustainable farming practices.
My initial interest in veganism was for health reasons - I wanted to protect myself from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. I was really into the lifestyle, watching and reading anything that I could get my hands on, such as Skinny Bitch, Kris Carr’s blog, Post Punk Kitchen and documentaries such as Vegucated and Food, Inc. This opened my eyes to major environmental issues. Being a nature and animal lover, I knew I was making the right choice.
It’s rewarding for me to create plant-based meals that are not only delicious, but but are healthy for us, as well as the planet. I am very excited to be a part of J Selby’s and share these dishes with the community!
I live in Midtown Minneapolis with my partner, Rob, and my cat Gildo. We hope to get backyard pet chickens this summer and start a huge vegetable garden, creating the most sustainable life possible. I am also interested in going to local shows and art galleries, sampling new wines, camping, traveling and blogging all of my recipes on my website. I look forward to feeding all of you wonderful plant-based food!