I have been cooking all my life, starting at home, where I mustered up dinners for four hungry brothers. I worked in
and managed restaurant dining rooms for over twenty years, lingering in many a kitchen, observing many a chef—in San
Francisco: La Méditerranée
, the Flying Saucer
, South Park Café
, Bistro Clovis
When I first came to France, in 1980, I discovered a culinary culture that celebrated fresh, seasonal produce, regional artisanal products, amazing breads, incredible cheeses, and natural wines that bring such harmony to a meal... What inspiration! My head and taste buds
were swirling! Back in my early twenties I became enamored with vegetables, their noble simplicity, the stunning array of color,
texture, flavor and aroma they offer. All rhyming with the seasons, freshly harvested, exhaling the earth. They became
and have remained the artist’s palette of my cooking.
When I began to travel in Italy, I made yet another discovery: that of Italian cuisine. Ah! Who but the Italians know how to give to vegetables, beans, grains, fresh herbs such a marvelously central place in the dishes that comprise their meals. Such ingenious, inventive culinary spirit! I've never stopped researching and discovering the richness of their cuisine—from Sardinia to Bolzano, la cucina povera
to Harry's Bar.
In 1996, I set down roots in Paris to pursue my photography, making my bread and butter as a translator in the worlds
of film and literature. Morning excursions to the organic open-air markets are a ritual from which I return laden with
an array of seasonal, local produce waiting to be celebrated in the dishes I create and enthusiastically share with family
In 2001 and 2002, I had the pleasure of working in the kitchen of l’Osteria, a small Italian restaurant in the Marais district
of Paris, whose Venetian owner and chef Toni Vianello
generously imparted to me his passion for food and a wealth of culinary knowledge . More specifically, he taught me the mysteries of risotto, which has since become my passion. A dish that so artfully offers itself to the splendor of vegetables.
I also spent two privileged weeks in the kitchens of l'Arpège
, Alain Passard’s three-star restaurant in Paris‘ 7th arrondissement, where I observed the chef at work meticulously applying his unique alchemy to vegetables. And now I'd love to share with you what I have discovered and learned across the years, and teach you dishes that could grace your table and delight your family and friends.