As a youngster, I was a picky eater without an ounce of interest in food, but all that changed when I spent my junior year studying in Dijon and Paris. I was in France as a French major to study the works of Molière, Rousseau, and Baudelaire, but discovered early on that I was far more interested in mille feuilles, boeuf à la bourguignonne, and crème au caramel. I still remember my favorite patisseries better than my favorite classes!
After college, I set up my own kitchen, but my first efforts were disasters: burnt scrambled eggs (I forgot to stir the eggs, thinking they would scramble themselves), pie dough that was lead-heavy, and caramel sauce that broke spoons. After those inauspicious beginnings, my husband gently suggested that I might want to take cooking classes. I did, and I cooked my way, with increasing confidence, through countless cookbooks (among them Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking). Finally, much to my own surprise, I decided to teach cooking myself.
I’ve worn more than one culinary toque since entering the food world. I started out by founding La Belle Pomme Cooking School in Columbus, Ohio. At its height, over 4000 Ohioians attended each year. I taught the majority of classes, but had such guest teachers such as Jacques Pépin, Giuliano Bugialli, and Nina Simonds. After moving to New England in the 1990s I continued to teach, and today give classes at The Baker’s Pin (formerly the Different Drummer’s Kitchen) in Northampton, Massachusetts.
It wasn’t too long before my teaching career led me to writing about food. For over twenty years I wrote a nationally syndicated column called “That’s Entertaining,” distributed by Tribune Media Services. I also kept busy contributing to Bon Appetit Magazine and other publications, and have authored 12 cookbooks, the latest of which is Soup Nights published by Rizzoli (October 2016).
I also logged many hours in front of the TV camera as the host for a popular PBS cooking show, “On the Menu,” aired in western New England from 2006 to 2009.
Times are changing, but cooking and all that goes with it remain among the most popular interests of millions throughout America and across the globe. So, with this website I hope to keep in closer touch with my readers, and to get to know a younger generation of cooks who are just as fascinated with food as I am.