New York City
I was born and raised in New York City, surrounding by lots of family, great food and an early appreciation for the power of sharing a meal at the table together. Growing up in LA provided me with a formal introduction to the hospitality field, as I had every job from being a cashier at Popeye’s Fried Chicken to running Mickey Rourke’s coffee shop. After a blessedly short stint in the entertainment industry, I moved to the Bay Area and focused exclusively (and very happily) on a career as a chef. I really just wanted to be good at something, and the combination of passion, creativity, hard work and teamwork that makes a kitchen run well was like heaven to me. In addition to opening iconic Bay Area- based restaurants such as Nopa and Spruce (recipient – 1 Michelin Star), I also cooked at The Village Pub in Woodside, Cavallo Point in Sausalito (both recipients – 1 Michelin Star) and Harvest Moon Cafe, an offshoot of Chez Panisse located in Wine Country. I also have taught cooking classes at 18 Reasons, (BiRite Market’s non-profit), own a meatpacking business (Meat By Pete) and regularly provide private dining services for Bay Area families in communities such as Seacliff and Woodside.
How long have you been working with Big City Chefs?
Since March 2020
If I were a spice, I would be…
Ginger. It’s exotic, but accessible (thank you Dutch East Indian Co.). It has terrific health benefits, adds a welcome hint of mystery to any dish and carries a real punch of heat. Also, it enjoys tremendous popularity all over the world 🙂
My favorite local purveyors, artisans, and farmers:
Dirty Girl Farms, Frog Hollow, Llano Seco, Meat By Pete (my charcuterie company), Flannery Beef, Firebrand Bakery and June Taylor Preserves. Also, Bill Niman is one of my heroes.
What I love about cooking and hospitality…
Because it’s like magic. People trust chefs and hospitality professionals with the most important moments of their lives, and to be given that opportunity is a gift. We are responsible for creating memories, and what is life without memory? Nothing I know promotes understanding faster than the creative act of caring for people through satisfying their hunger.
What are your top three go-to pantry items?
Anchovy Paste, Mirin and Chickpeas