I am a professional food lover. My livelihood is based on my passion for food, cooking and travel.
Actually, so is my marriage. I met my husband, David Bonom, through work, and we’ve been cooking and traveling together (and doing a few other things like raising a family, caring for our animals, renovating a home and much more) ever since. We work together, too: through our company, Vittles & Verbs, we write cookbooks; create recipes, health and travel content for companies and organizations, and do all kinds of cooking demonstrations and classes, both together and separately.
Much of my writing and recipe development leans toward healthful eating. Please note: I did not say all of my work: I am a firm believer in balance– which means there is plenty of room in my life for indulgent, decadent food, too.
I am the contributing Health Editor for Rachael Ray Every Day, where you can find my writing and healthy recipes (developed with David) in every issue. I am also the health columnist for AllRecipes magazine: look for my Good4You column. I frequently write for publications like Self magazine, Health, Prevention, and Fitness. I also contribute to many other magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens, Coastal Living, and more.
I often write about food and cooking as they relate to lifestyle issues– like being too crammed for time to spend more than 30 minutes making dinner or wanting simple, do-ahead recipes for entertaining that taste and look like they took you days. After all, most people want to fit cooking into their lives– not change their lives in order to cook. My weekly column in Newsday, Three Simple Dishes, and many of the classes I teach at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) address how the home cook can more easily get meals on the table- whether on a harried weeknight or when hosting a more formal holiday dinner. When I teach, I meet all kinds of people and all kinds of cooks, and inevitably, I learn from my students. I learn what home cooks are concerned about (how do I know which fish is okay to buy?), what they wish they could cook and the questions on their minds. In fact, those questions are now a daily video and written column for MyRecipes.com called Ask the Expert.
In addition to our work for corporations who need recipe, photography and travel/lifestyle content, David and I review restaurants and explore the food world together. We are especially interested the people and places that make, grow and raise food. I am fascinated by the process and love the adventures I have learning about them. I wrote for the New York Times about a cheese maker who raises grass fed cows to get the best milk for his cheese; got to tour a Willy-Wonka like ice cream manufacturing plant where treats whirl by on conveyor belts in a blur of happy colors; went out on a boat in Alaska with a commercial fisherman; and trudged through hot, dry tomato fields to the on-site canning factory to understand the issues, like lack of water, that farmers face. There is a life and a back story to every ingredient we use. You’ll find some of those stories on this blog.
When I travel (and lucky for me, that is fairly often), I try to learn what people who live in the region cook and eat. When I discover a great dish (and there is great food everywhere), I find local cooks to show or tell me how its made. I’ve learned that just about everyone likes to talk about food, and most cooks love to share what they know. Food is, after all, what nourishes our life.
My Back Story
For those of you who (like me) like tangible facts, here are a few.
You can read my work in these magazines:
* Better Homes & Gardens (features and former columnist)
* Prevention (features and former columnist)
And, in these newspapers:
* Newsday (columnist)
* The Bergen Record (former columnist)
…and in syndicated form in many others.
In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on my Newsday column, I have contributed to more than 20 books. I make guest appearances on morning news programs, had a weekly segment on local television news, a weekly radio program and and my recipes have aired on the Food Network.
I am a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and Association of Food Journalists. I have won a number of awards for my food and travel writing, including Best Essay, Association of Food Journalists, for Strawberry Cupcakes (Newsday) and the FOLIO for Best Travel Article for Honk if You’re Hungry in Rachael Ray Every Day.