I got into cooking at an early age. I watched cooking shows on TV after school, loved going to restaurants and eyed the glossy food magazines when I would go to the grocery store with my mom. She and I cooked together. We poured over recipe clippings, collected cookbooks, and planned large family holiday meals.
As soon as I was old enough, I got a job working in the bakery at the little Greek grocery store a mile from our house. There I decided I would be a chef. I have not held a job unrelated to food. I studied and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America. I did not miss a day of class.
Like most kids, I loved animals. I became pescetarian at 14 and went vegetarian in college. But growing up on the East Coast in the 80s and 90s I didn’t think I could “make it” as a vegetarian chef. And I didn’t try to. I put this aside for a long time.
As a young teen, I imagined great things for my career as a chef. I was inspired by farm to table chef Alice Waters and the Slowfood movement and I wanted to make the world a better place through my work as a chef. By shopping locally and seasonally for restaurant menus, I felt I was walking in my hero’s footsteps. But little did I know that, ultimately, the movement I would take part in is veganism.
I want to help people make the transition to a plant-based vegan lifestyle. Food is a personal thing. It holds precious memories of our family, traditions, and culture. I believe it is possible to hold on to what foods mean to us while letting go of animal products. The end result is more vibrant, compassionate, and more alive.
Many people have reversed chronic diseases when adopting a plant based diet. Throughout my career I have broadened my understanding of plant-based cooking and nutrition, traditional cuisines, raw foods, and organics. This blog is my platform for sharing this knowledge with those who need it.
I too am on a journey. After years of working in restaurants I felt tired, sluggish and unwell. Restaurants can be very stressful, the hours are long, and although it’s physically demanding work, I wasn’t very active otherwise. I was eating the Standard American “SAD” Diet, was addicted to caffeine, rarely cooked at home and drank too much. I needed to change.
In October 2010 I took the advice of a massage therapist and began taking yoga classes. After practicing yoga for 6 months, I improved areas of my fitness that I never thought possible. I wondered what other positive changes I could make in my life. So I adopted a plant-based diet. It began with trading my coffee habit for fresh green juices.
Since going 100% vegan in January 2013, I’ve noticed great improvements in my health. Now I very rarely get sick, have improved digestion, better athletic recovery, decreased nasal congestion, and have lost unwanted weight. I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of plant-based foods and I’m forever grateful that I decided to make a change.
Welcome to my blog. I hope you’ll join me here.
Love and tomatoes,