My passion for food started at a very young age. I grew up in a household that ate the typical American diet, mostly steak and potatoes, along with my mom’s great baking.
At the age of eleven, I became a vegetarian and a few short months after I made the choice to become a vegan. I am frequently asked what made me become a vegetarian/vegan, the answer to this is it was a fad. A friend of mine asked me to become a vegetarian with him so I did. Unlike my mother, his mom didn’t support his choices and made him stop. I am very grateful to have a supportive mother and supportive grandmother (who became a vegetarian when I did) by my side throughout this journey.
I started working in the restaurant industry when I was fourteen years old. I started at a local diner called Granskofski’s, Ontario, NY as a bus girl. I then moved on to be a host, and then a server. Eventually I started working in the kitchen as a dish washer and worked behind the line as a toast girl. I also worked as a manager at Salvatores Pizzaria during and after high school. As a graduation requirement in high school I had to do a 40-hour internship, which I completed at Lento, Rochester, NY. I also took a work experience class which required a 50-hour internship, that turned into 100 + hours, at The Owl House, Rochester, NY.
After graduating high school I was able to get a job at The Owl House, Rochester, NY, which is a second home at heart. I started my venture there as a host and moved up to be a server and then head server. An opportunity opened up and I was able to get into the kitchen. I did a few dish washing shifts and then got put on expediter / garde manager. In this position, I was responsible for making sure everything sent out of the kitchen was correct. I also made the salads and plated the desserts. The next opportunity The Owl House gave me was as a line cook. As a line cook I fried food, made sandwiches, and eventually learned the sauté side. This was one of the best opportunities I have ever had, and it sincerely helped me make my decision to evolve my culinary career.
I also worked at Char Steak and Lounge, Rochester, NY, for a short period of time as a prep cook. This opportunity opened my eyes to the different work environments of the kitchen and really made me appreciate the work that goes into the preparation of good food.
In April of 2014, I attended The Natural Gourmet Institute, located in New York, NY. NGI believed in using ingredients that were whole, fresh, organic, local, seasonal, in harmony with tradition, real, unprocessed, non-irradiated and non-GMO. During my time at NGI, I realized I wasn’t eating healthy. By September 2014, I had completed my 619-hour Chef’s Training Program, a 100-hour internship at Sun In Bloom, Brooklyn, NY and started to follow the NGI guidelines. Since attending The Natural Gourmet Institute, my life has changed drastically. My eating habits have changed and my lifestyle has changed both physically and mentally. I AM HEALTHIER.
After school I helped start Unprocessed Kitchen, Jackson Hole, WY. Unprocessed Kitchen is a prepared meal delivery service that focuses on using healthy, fresh organic ingredients.
Currently I am working as a Whole-Food Plant-based Chef in Rochester, NY.