credit: John Lee

credit: John Lee


I am a freelance journalist, cookbook author, recipe developer, and general problem solver. After a year of baking cookies at a French bakery in Oakland and five years cooking on the line in James Beard Award-wining restaurants across the country, I started writing about food and restaurants. A16 Food and Wine, my first book, received the 2009 IACP Cookbook of the Year award and the Julia Child First Book award

Since then, 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 current book, due out in fall 2019 with Chronicle Books, is Lavash, with fellow Armenian food enthusiasts John Lee and Ara Zada.

While I live in San Francisco, I've also called Napa, Boston, Exeter (England), Davao (the Philippines), Oakland, and Chicagomy favorite second city—home. After graduating magna cum laude from UCDavis, I went to culinary school in the Napa Valley.  After spending the next several years cooking on the line, I attended Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism to get my spelling back on track. (There are a lot of ways to misspell cauliflower in a restaurant kitchen, and I saw and used them all.)

Apart from books, my work has appeared in publications ranging from CNN's Explore Parts Unknown to 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 writing, I develop recipes for clients, such as Sunsweet, and teach cooking classes at San Francisco Cooking School.

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 Bay Area sports fan. Since I grew up in California, it's only right that I've tried to surf—twice. But it's so much nicer to watch the waves from a distance.


 Heard: The Splendid Table
Heard: The Food Seen
Quoted: The Wall Street Journal
Quoted: Bon Appetit Healthyish
In Writing:
In Action: Saveur