THE SHORT STORY: After a year of baking professionally and another handful of years cooking on the line at restaurants across the United States, I started writing about food and restaurants. My first book, A16 Food and Wine, was actually based on a restaurant where I had cooked, which may have given me an edge in telling the stories of those Southern Italian wines and recipes. In 2009, it received the IACP Cookbook of the Year award and the Julia Child First Book award.
These days, I have a portfolio career, meaning that my work life stitches together several different kinds of work, including writing, recipe development, product R&D research and analysis, editing, and project managing. I’ve even pinch-hit as a food stylist assistant and a test kitchen employee. No matter the assignment, the common thread is that it always links to the broader world of food/wine.
MORE BACKGROUND: While I live in San Francisco, I've also called Napa, Boston, Exeter (England), Davao (the Philippines), Oakland, and Chicago—my favorite second city—home. After graduating from UCDavis and going to culinary school, I spent several years cooking on the line in Boston, Napa, and San Francisco. I later attended Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism—partially to get my spelling back on track. (There are a lot of ways to misspell cauliflower, and I saw and used them all while working in restaurants.)
I have co-authored or edited more than eight books on food and wine, including Champagne, the winner of the 2018 IACP Wine and Spirits Book Award and the 2017 André Simon Drink Book Award. My next book, Lavash, is due out October 29, 2019.
In addition to books, my writing has appeared in publications ranging from Smithsonianmag.com, to CNN's Explore Parts Unknown, Gluten Free Forever and Eating Well. I've also been the recipient of a fellowship from the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood. In addition to editorial work, I develop recipes for clients and teach cooking classes at San Francisco Cooking School.
DEEP DIVE: I'm a former college lacrosse player. My most crushing sports memory is losing to Stanford in the Final Four my senior year. (So much for "defense wins championships." I played defense.) More recently, I've become an unintentional San Francisco Bay Area sports fan and subscribe to The Athletic.
I am, and probably always will be, a sucker for any good underdog story.
Heard: The Splendid Table
Heard: The Food Seen
Quoted: The Wall Street Journal
Quoted: Bon Appetit Healthyish
In Writing: Food52.com
In Action: Saveur