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Professional Home Chef, Food Justice Advocate, Cooking Instructor, Blogger, Airbnb Guest Experience Entrepreneur, & Certified ServSafe® Instructor & Registered Proctor

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I had the wonderful privilege of having a dad who was an Executive Chef. At home he could make a delicious meal with whatever we had in the refrigerator. It was through my father's eyes that I began to develop a true understanding of cooking and that it wasn't just a plate of food, but a culinary legacy that brought our family together, and this is where my first lessons began.  The kitchen was always filled with music. My dad used to say, "It's the main ingredient to every dish". Needless to say I don't cook without it---for me there is a real connection between flavor & music.  I have a passion for global culture and admirer of all things hand-made whether it be jewelry, exotic clothing, wood carvings, pottery or textiles, I believe it represents the creative spirit of the person that made it.  So, when I buy something that is handmade, it’s because I am reflected in that purchase. It’s like when I cook a meal,  I put all of who I am into that meal down to the last detail in selecting just the right ingredients.  I leave behind my essence and a reflection of my heart.  Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's a melting pot of global cuisines and a world center for amazing artisanal products.  So you could do a lot of cultural travel without ever having to leave home.  And travel I did-- I didn't miss a single stop on all of the multi-ethnic Caribbean Islands.  Africa known for its intense flavor offered some of the most delicious food on the continent.  Other culinary travels included Brazil, Cuba, El Salvador, Columbia, Mexico, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Thailand, and India.  During that time I was immersed in African culture with dating, travel, food, social events, and friendships.  However, the most rewarding experience happened with my first marriage to a Nigerian man.  That man could cook!! He had friends and family all over the world...and they could cook! I learned about authentic African cuisine.  Finally, after a 20 year career in Hospitality HR Management, it was my inherent love of people, cooking and culture that inspired me to become a full-time professional Home Chef and and an advocate for sustainable home cooking.  But, it's been my life-long struggle with managing my weight that has caused me to want to make better food choices by incorporating a plant-based life style.  My health really depends on me eating at home.  Over the last 25 years my palate has undergone  a lot of change.  Desiring to provide more access to local, "non-industrialized food" and to build a more inclusive food system.  I've found that many people overlook cooking classes while traveling and I think they are missing out on one of the best experiences you can have in a new country.  In 2014 I moved to Orange County fell in love and got married.  In 2018 HESSPEA was born. - 2020-06-19T160057.062.jpg