When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
My mom is a wonderful cook, so I was lucky to apprentice under her from the moment I was old enough to get involved. I remember being very young and baking a simple cake, taking very seriously my mom's instructions to mix the batter gently, until just combined. Later when we cut into the cake, we discovered a cross-section of an intact egg yolk. Oops! The first of many more mistakes (I mean, learning experiences!) to follow.
Now that I'm grown and working as a registered dietitian in the restaurant industry, I'm grateful that mom was there to foster my love for cooking and guide me through the hands-on culinary crash course that was my childhood. Thanks mom!
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
I cook in a tiny apartment kitchen, not too different from its long line of tiny apartment kitchen predecessors. But I don't think a small space is any reason to compromise on the amount of cooking you can do. Focus on creative solutions for storage and counter space (a kitchen cart can work wonders), and clean as you go!
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Have fun with it! The only way that you'll figure out how ingredients and techniques work together is by getting your hands dirty and trying stuff out. That being said, it can also be really helpful to learn a little bit about food science. Understanding the why/how of cooking chemistry goes a long way toward determining which experiments might work better than others.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
I currently live on the opposite coast from my family, so I dream of hosting all of my long-distance friends and relatives for a beach cookout with all the Baja-style fish tacos we can grill. And an enormous tres leches cake for dessert, naturally.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I used to do a lot of sewing and knitting, but these days cooking and photography do a good job of keeping my creative juices flowing!
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
Too many to mention, but I have to acknowledge a few of my fellow up-and-coming dietitian bloggers: An Avocado a Day, Chard in Charge, Delish Knowledge, The Foodie Dietitian, Hungry Hobby, and Zen and Spice. If you're interested in nutrition, you have to take advantage of all the great content that RDs are putting out these days!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
As a registered dietitian, my career is about empowering people with the tools we need to take charge of our health through food. It's an amazing job, but I have to say that nothing makes me sadder than talking to someone who thinks that transitioning to a healthier diet means that they have to say goodbye to enjoying food. So many healthy foods are crazy delicious! So, my final call to action is this: cook something wholesome, make sure it's delicious, and share it with the people you love.