I grew up in a tiny mountain town in Idaho, population seven hundred and twenty four.
To this day it is the kind of town where most children of the community stick close to home, close to their roots. But, I had always dreamed of a bigger world, more to explore. So the minute high school graduation culminated, I found myself on a plane to Florence, Italy to study cooking. I was the first of my family to fly commercial, the first to have a passport.
As the plane landed in Pisa, I was enchanted with the history that permeates the countryside and was anxious to immerse myself in the culture, language & food that is Italy. I thrived! I loved the open-air markets with fresh produce, the daily jaunts to the fishmonger, wandering through the herb garden – touching, feeling, smelling. It inspired me. The culinary school I attended was all about creating, exploring your talents as a Chef. I had none. I was eighteen. I was terrified. I faked it. I had the time of my life.