At 34 years old, I can say with certainty that cooking is a part of who I am. My family and surroundings have made it that way. The East end of long island, where I was born, raised, and still return, is a community fed on local foods. From farming to fishing, my family taught me first hand how to identify these seasonal goods and put them to use. My grandmother took me along on her regular trips to the fresh market- where I learned to appreciate our food and know where it came from. Grandma taught me how to choose a melon at its perfect ripeness through smell and touch, and grow our own amazing tomatoes. My awareness developed for the qualities that make each particular food special. To this day- there is nothing quite like the feeling of walking through an open market or local farm – it brings all of my senses to life.
My best memories have centered on food. My father raised me. He has always been my hero and whatever he did, I was never far behind. Cooking and a love for food helped make our relationship even stronger. He showed me how to grill his famous London broil when I was very young. By the age of twelve, I had joyously mastered his recipe. I remember loving every second of the cooking process – from tenderizing to marinating the meat, then bringing it to room temperature the following day, and finally grilling the meat to a perfect medium rare. We would begin the recipe the night before. Starting out as a weekly ritual that my father and I shared, the London broil soon became a festivity that brought together our family and friends.
My passion for cooking delicious meals and sharing them with others has been a constant joy for me. The thought of making dishes that bring nutrition, pleasure, and lasting memories to people motivates me to be the best I can be!