Vanilla Garlic is where I sit down to write about life, food, and whatever seems to intersect the two. You’ll find recipes and photographs here but I tend to focus on the written word. Hopefully, you'll like what you read as it usually is tasty and/or funny (or so I like to think).
I tell people I meet at parties that I’m a food writer by trade. I'm also an ex-assistant pastry chef who now works in the nonprofit world because I like having weekends off. They're jobs that I love as they allow me to explore and interact with some pretty amazing people, a few adventurous places, and some the occasional dim sum lunch.
I have a MA in English Composition where I focused on teaching writing through the use of food as a medium; and where food, writing, and culture were my focuses for research. My thesis was an examination of exclusionary rhetoric using the Slow Food movement’s texts and recipes as a medium. Super scholarly stuff. Also crazy boring, but I’m more than willing to share it if you want to read it. God help you if you do.
The best thing to come from that school and pastry experience is that I get to spend time teaching both cooking and writing classes to adults and kids. I also work as recipe and cookbook tester, and once in a blue moon assist in food-related social media and as a public relations consultant. I’ve also spoken on many panels on topics in writing and cooking at a number of conferences. The best part of all this is that I get to do what I love and it helps people in the process. That, I feel, means I’m living a pretty successful – but busy – life.
As a food writer I’ve written for multiple publications and websites including Gourmet Live, Epi-Log, Cheese Connoisseur, Leite's Culinaria, Edible Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee. My work on this blog has been featured in many places as well, including the Miami Herald, New York Times' Best of the Blogs, The Kitchn, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Saveur.com also nominated Vanilla Garlic in its Food Blog Awards for Best Individual Post in 2010 and Best Food Essay in 2011.
As a recipe tester and developer I have worked on the best selling cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook; and The Great Big Vegetable Challenge, which was a top-selling sensation in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
This is too long a list, but I guess that's a good thing.
Currently, I am also writing a book with fellow food writer Stephanie Stiavetti called, Melt: The art of Macaroni and Cheese. To be released in early 2013 by Little, Brown & Company.
If you have questions about me, my writing, research, or recipes or just wish to tell me I suck then feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.