Who am I to be teaching you?
I cook. I clean. I cuss. And, just like you, I learn from every single mistake I've made in the kitchen. As a result, I've created some pretty awesome dishes, and I've had epic failures. But, without the trials and tribulations of learning how to cook, I would not have created the Elevated Plant Plate.
Since 2015, I’ve shared my family's favorite plant-based recipes on my blog, Black Fig Food. I’ve also shared tips on meal planning, grocery shopping, kitchen organization, and cooking with seasonal ingredients. BUT, THE MAIN THING I ENJOY THE MOST IS HELPING YOU UNCOVER AND EMBRACE THE CULINARY ARTIST IN YOU!
People come to me when they need ideas on preparing a recipe, adding more plants to their plates, or kicking up their food presentation a notch or two. So why not have a culinary space where I can offer ideas and be beside them during their culinary journey?
AFTER ALL, FOOD IS WHAT CONNECTS US ALL IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!
I teach how cooking and sharing a meal can express love and appreciation for one another. I also show how it builds a sense of community around our tables. And lastly, I focus on how you can cultivate creativity and self-confidence each time you cook an award-winning plant-forward dish. Your carnivorous friends will love it, I promise!
ALTHOUGH I MUST CONFESS. I NEVER THOUGHT I’D END UP IN THE CULINARY WORLD.
I was supposed to grow up to be a rock star!
As a child, my relationship with food was, at times, dysfunctional. I experienced food as a form of threat, a bribe, an apology, and the proverbial comfort food.
Our family meals often consisted of thin pork chops, refried beans, homemade tortillas, and the usual argument between family members. Whatever "moms" served us, that is what we ate! I almost always cleaned my plate, but I remember craving something more- color and a “wow factor” on my plate. If I couldn’t get it through family mealtime, by bloody hell, my barbies would at least have a nice Herbed-Chicken with Roasted Carrots and Potatoes all made from Playdoh. The time I spent shaping each pea and pearl onion with my little hands JUST for my dolls should have been my first clue I would not become the rock star musician I always wanted to be…. Instead, I would become a foodie.
FAST FORWARD TO AGE 25
The start of my cooking journey was a bit rocky. The day I made THE WORST French Onion soup was when I became determined to learn how to cook. I consumed every food-related magazine and cookbook I could get my hands on. I wasn’t going to let a French Onion soup take me down ever again.
Over the next 20 years, I honed in on the craft of cooking. First, I had to break away from the identity I wed myself to regarding my past relationship with food. The mental barriers were substantial, but I worked through them and ended up in the best place for me. I no longer saw food as a threat or myself as someone undeserving of being healthy. I discovered the benefits of switching to preparing and eating more plant foods. And, I figured out a way to incorporate self-compassion, creativity, and conscious eating into the food I create. The coolest part of it all, I learned that it was okay to fail. Because of my failures, I am the cook I am today.
FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT
- I have a combined 20+ year background in building my cooking craft, working as a personal and private chef, catering, and teaching cooking classes through a community college.
- In 2014, I traveled to Spain and Morocco and researched their art, culture, and cooking methods. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art that same year.
- I’ve had the privilege of being featured in local magazines and television and published in Covey Rise Magazine's cookbook.
- As a certified plant-based chef, artist, and instructor, I have a unique perspective on what it takes to teach others how to create delicious and beautifully plated plant-forward dishes at home.