Hi, I’m Julie. Thanks for visiting my blog. Who am I and how did I get here? Well, here’s a little background. I hope you’ll join me on my journey to figure out the rest.
While my elementary school peers were outdoors riding bicycles, I was home in the kitchen, chopping onions and washing vegetables, helping my mom with the catering business that she ran out of our home. When I was twelve, we overhauled our family’s diet after my father suffered a heart attack (at age 45). I worked in restaurants through high school and college and then looked beyond the kitchen and pursued careers in education, journalism, publishing, and marketing only to learn that the culinary world was my primary interest.
I transitioned my professional focus to the business of food and earned a Master’s of Management in Hospitality at the Cornell School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration in 1997. As a foodservice consultant working on the restaurant components of real estate projects such as hotels, airports, theme parks and corporate campuses as well as on unique large-scale events such as the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics of 2002, I realized that the kitchen itself — particularly cooking healthy food and International cuisines — was my true calling. While I had been cooking all my life, I felt compelled to go back to school and earn a Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts her in Los Angeles in 2012.
I have studied with renowned chefs such as Andre Soltner and Jaques Torres; worked in the catering kitchens of Wolfgang Puck and The Patina Group; and, interned at the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen (one of my all time best experiences). I have cooked professionally at Seasons 52 as a line cook; at Lean Meals, Inc. as Sous Chef; and, at Sophos Café where I am currently the Chef. I also provide personal chef and catering services on the side.
My cooking draws heavily from Mediterranean (particularly Italian), Middle Eastern and Asian traditions all of which are rooted in using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients and enhancing their inherent flavors rather than masking them with heavy sauces. I don’t just love to cook, I also love to eat. I believe that dietary constraints and choices are no excuse for mediocre food and that eating well need not come at the expense of good health. My passion for delicious, healthy food has led me to specialize in adapting classic recipes to meet a broad spectrum of health-related dietary needs from heart-healthy to gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, Paleo and Kosher diets, several of which I adhere to personally. My primary objective in the kitchen is to show people that they can eat well and with gusto while embracing their dietary concerns.