Program Chair of the Culinary Arts program,
Co-Chair Sustainable Farming and Food Systems
Tell us about your role:
As Chair of the Culinary Arts program at Tompkins Cortland, I work to support students on their path to becoming professionals in the industry. As their teacher for Introduction to Culinary Arts I take very seriously the responsibility of giving students the right building blocks they will need to be successful. Culinary Arts is not just a career; it is a language, a science, an art, and comes with social responsibility to our community and food system.
How did you come to join the Coltivare team?
I joined the Coltivare team after moving to Ithaca with my spouse and daughter. Previous to that I owned and operated a farm to table catering company in Gainesville, Florida and worked as an executive chef in a handful of restaurants geared towards sustainability and local sourcing.
My training at the New England Culinary Institute gave me the needed tools to navigate the food world while incorporating a passion for local food that stems from my degrees in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Vermont and the University of Florida. When I learned about Coltivare and the Farm to Bistro program I instantly knew I wanted to be involved. One of my signature professional opportunities as a chef was being at the forefront of a regional farm to table movement in central Florida and making a meaningful contribution. I strongly believe in the capacity of a chef to impact a community’s understanding of food systems through local sourcing and educational outreach. Working at Coltivare has allowed me to pursue this effort and my long term goals of teaching Culinary Arts and beyond.
Favorite feature of the Finger Lakes region?
The Finger Lakes region has so much to offer for an outdoor enthusiast and for a young family, countless activities to keep us entertained. We particularly enjoy the numerous gorge trails, waterfront parks and local u-pick farms. The Ithaca Farmer’s Market is one of the best I have experienced.
Favorite kind of food?
I love Southern, French and Vietnamese cuisine.