It seems like I’ve always loved hosting dinner parties; even in a high chair in NYC!
(Apparently I even liked to clean up after the parties! Pedro the parrot was no help at all although he did like to talk my ear off.)
With a passion for shopping,
cooking and eating local, sustainable and seasonable foods, I strive to share that passion with others.
A Native New Englander(after a few early years in NYC), I have been in the food and restaurant business in various capacities since I was 14. I started out helping my Mom in her cafe making quiches and soups and then catering events popping bottles of champagne. I moved on to scooping ice cream at a “Carvel” and even became a barista in the early days before anyone had heard of Starbucks.
All the while I was also acting; fully prepared to become an actress on the stage or screen, so I attended Emerson College in Boston, MA and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Theatre. The restaurant biz beckoned. I started in the back of the house prepping sauces, stocks and salads, shucking oysters and clams, making soups, roasting turkeys and then cooking on the line. I was convinced to move out to the front of the house just in time to pound the pavement in La La Land. LA is not for the faint-hearted. While I struggled to find an acting gig; I did scoop a ton of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice cream for the rich and famous (“I want that section with the most cookie dough!!” “What do you mean you’re out of Cookie Dough?!!”) and wait on hunky leading men like Kevin Costner at Star Cafe; famous for its Jamaican Jerk Chicken Calzone served with a papaya salsa cooked in a wood fired oven. I think the most fun I had in LA besides hanging out at the Bourgeois Pig drinking cappuccinos was discovering fabulous food stores like Mrs. Gooch’s (the precursor to Whole Foods) and hyperventilating on the phone to my then boyfriend telling him all about this amazing store I found called TRADER JOE’S!! “They have garlic stuffed olives for $1.50 a jar and this wine called Two Buck Chuck because it costs $2.00!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!”
I eventually filed my head shots away and made my way back to New England. Got a job at a TV station in Manchester, NH working the cameras for the daytime and evening news and then launched my own cooking show on live television. I had guests on from all over New Hampshire and beyond
(Why yes, that is THE Julia Child in the pic above!!)
We focused on what was in season and how you can cook what they were cooking; at home. It was a dream come true and a way to really meld my two passions together: ACTING and FOOD. I eventually had a baby girl and then moved to Columbus, OH (where I found the BEST ICE CREAM IN THE WORLD: Jeni’s). I enjoyed her fab ice cream almost everyday while I was performing in plays at Columbus Children’s Theatre (another dream come true).
The mountains and ocean beckoned us home and we moved to Rhode Island. The Ocean State may be small, but it is filled with a gorgeous array of farms, specialty food producers, great restaurants and of course seafood (including some of the best oysters I have ever had). I had a second daughter and shortly thereafter, launched my radio show Jen’s Dish on a local AM Talk radio station in Northern RI. It aired for 3 fun filled years. Afterwards I went on to work for Non-Profits, Specialty Food Distributors and more.
The past few years have been filled with challenges; but I have come thru with the great help of family, friends and food! While I was recovering from Kidney Cancer surgery; loved ones visited, bringing homemade meals, Jeni’s Ice Cream, Bagels from NYC, and other edible gifts from the heart they knew would mean the world to me.
I feel so lucky to have made it through these medical and personal challenges and now cherish my experiences even more.
I want to continue to share my food finds and travels with you through the blog, radio and video. I look forward to sitting down at the table with you.
Please pull up a chair!