I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo this year. My major was Journalism with minors in French and Storytelling Media, hence why I like to write and tell stories. I studied abroad in France and fell even more in love with cheese which is now a central part of my life, as anyone who knows me would tell you.
My life is full of contradictions but I see it more as a careful balance. I love yoga and being active and healthy but there is also a special place in my heart for cheese and beer. I grew up in San Diego and when I was in high school my parents invited a friend who was renting a house with a kitchen too small to brew beer, to brew in our kitchen. He was into these IPAs that were still pretty unpopular at that time but they started to grow on my dad and low and behold they became a household staple for all of us.
I have always loved food (as you can see in the photo above). I was raised in Cardiff, California, with a bountiful garden and I was (and still am) always on the lookout for ripening produce in the yard. In the photo I’m sniffing some blackberries. Blackberries are as quintessential to Summer as going to the beach for me. Since I can remember I have been picking them to smash into vanilla ice cream, make pies or jams with, feed my bunny so she looked like she had lipstick on, or simply enjoy on their own. We also grow mangos, nectarines, guavas, plums, figs, pomegranates, grapefruit, oranges, blueberries, eggplant, passion fruit, lemons, limes, apples, beans, tomatoes and lettuces. So no matter what time of year, we have at least one kind of fruit to enjoy fresh from the garden which I think has enhanced my relationship with food and cooking.
I come from a long line of food fanatics. My great grandmother and namesake, Domenica, made all of her own pastas and sauces when she came over from Italy. My great grandfather made the wine and they owned a dairy and a small general store where they sold dairy products and other produce from their farm. Domenica would cook family style for their 17 farm workers. On the other side, my great grandparents owned a cherry tomato farm. My Nonno (grandpa) is a self-proclaimed “fruit freak” and carries jalapenos with him at all times, he is also known for being able to pick the best melon around.
I love food because it brings people together; those you cook with and those you feed. My mom and I have been cooking together, whenever I am home and not busy, since I was in high school and my dad contributes by grilling or making the occasional guac. Food is something you come together over, which is I guess what I love so much about it, that you get to eat it after.
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