Los Angeles
United States

For me, cooking is for the pleasure of pleasing others. Read “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel and you’ll understand. These days, I enjoy cooking for my kids. It’s a much more interesting challenge to satisfy the palates of children.

I started cooking at about 5 years old in my Easy Bake oven and never stopped loving it. I like to experiment, often using ‘concepts’ more than recipes. After all, cooking is just a chemistry experiment. I tell friends, don’t be afraid to try - what’s the worst that can happen? You have to ditch it and try again!

Growing up in the midwest, my cooking tends to be rich, tummy filling food. I also lived on Bayou LaFourche in Louisiana and have acquired recipes direct from the Cajuns, especially Mama Peitre (pronouned mau-mau peet). Of course, living in California has brought more healthy cooking to my kitchen as well.

One of the most important elements in my cooking, however, is keeping it easy and not too time consuming. With 3 kids, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to spend in the kitchen. I love cooking big meals for friends and family, but spending time with them is important too.

My favorite is as my mother used to say, “It’s better to have too much than too little.”