It is my pleasure to find ways to take what can be seen as a frustrating dietary restriction, and turn it into a puzzle to be solved with beautiful, delicious meals.
I first began working as a personal chef before I even knew that I could cook. I had just arrived in Israel to visit my boyfriend and I needed to find temporary work, so I asked some friends if anyone knew an English speaking family who needed help around the house.
Immediately one of my classmates responded that she knew someone looking for help with cooking and cleaning, and when I went to meet the family we got along well right away. The pay seemed low but I was twenty one and just looking to make ends meet on a thrifty student budget in a foreign country so I was happy to start.
My employers became not just my friends, but also my teachers. I learned how to cook what they wanted for the week, based on what foods were available. The more I cooked the more I loved it, and the more I experimented at home as well.
What I had realized right after I arrived in Israel (where I couldn’t read or speak the language and had no recipes or access to cookbooks) was that without specific instructions, I was free to create flavors with the beautiful local produce newly available to me, and I felt like an artist with a fresh palette of paints.
I was filled with excitement each time I walked through the open air marketplace and learned for the first time what seasonal really means- that you can only access certain items for a short period during their harvest time. The rest of the year they were simply not available, and the feeling of new life each time the wheel of the year turns and a new type of fruit or vegetable is popping up vibrant and flavorful is a thrill that stays with me today, and is truly something to celebrate.
After cooking for my first family I was asked to cook for other families as well, and I enjoyed the challenge of creating food for each person’s tastes and dietary needs. I learned that food is very personal, and the connection and intimacy of making what a client is eating each day is something to be treated with the utmost respect and care, for the ingredients, and the energy put into creating the food itself.
I have gone through many stages of my own dietary changes, from being vegetarian and later vegan, to raw vegan, to grain free, Paleo, and sugar free. All of these personal experiences have shown me how much our food choices can impact the way we feel, and I have become passionate about helping others feel great with what they eat.
Since those early days when I was first learning how to cook while visiting my boyfriend, life has changed a lot! That boyfriend became my husband, we moved across the world and back, twice, and four beautiful souls joined our family. We lived and learned and enjoyed the amazing flavors of Jerusalem, New York, and Miami, and finally landed in Silicon Valley where we have been for the past five years.
It is here that I began to see my cooking as a career rather than just a skill that I employed here and there outside of my own cooking at home. I began cooking for clients weekly and have been doing that for the past two years. As interest in my cooking has grown I have added more clients, each with unique dietary challenges, and it has been exciting for me to discover each person’s individual needs and preferences. It is my pleasure to find ways to take what can be seen as a frustrating dietary restriction, and turn it into a puzzle to be solved with beautiful, delicious meals.