Growing up I developed a love of cooking from my Babushka, probably at an age before I could form full sentences. Not a day went by in our house that she wasn’t cooking or baking. Starting around 2006, I finagled my way into any restaurant that would hire me just to be in a kitchen and to pay for school. A decade later I got married, and from 2014 to 2019, I spent a lot of my time traveling. I visited many places within the United States, but my favorite trips were in Eastern Europe. Quite a few of the trips involved locating where my grandparents had lived, or ones with great historical significance. Of course the best part of my travels was finding unique restaurants and cuisine. For example, I found an underground restaurant in Lviv, Ukraine, where I snacked on fried chicken hearts and Pravda beer. In between this time, I decided to go back to university and the restaurant industry. My prized job as a chef thus far was at a Stephen Starr restaurant, Stove & Tap, in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. That is where I grew and acquired the most knowledge involving all aspects of the culinary industry. Now I am excited for this new chapter at Big City Chefs, and to teach in the future.
How long have you been working with Big City Chefs?
Since September, 2020
If I were a spice, I would be…
I would be cumin for its complexity. I am warm, but can be a little tart and I enhance the flavor of any dish. Energetic and intense at times is also a good way to describe my personality and spice.
My favorite local purveyors, artisans, and farmers:
Texas Black Gold Garlic, Vital Farms and Westinghouse Seafood
What I love about cooking and hospitality…
Cooking has been my passion since a young age, and I get so excited seeing people enjoy my food. The culinary world has a unique ability to bring people together, and also invokes a sense of nostalgia for many. My true love is to create a dish and have someone say it is as good or better than their best memory of it.
What are your top three go-to pantry items?
Box pasta, olive oil & hot sauce