I’ve been both excited and nervous about blogging for quite awhile, but just wasn’t sure when or how to start. I’ve finally decided that now’s the time . . . 1:41 eastern standard time on 8/29/12. I have learned so much from having attended culinary school . . . gulp . . . nearly five years ago, and find that every day that I’m in the kitchen, I keep learning even more . . . especially learning at “cooking crunch” times, which are the rare times that I’m completely under the wire to finish preparing a meal for a client. I will definitely use this blog to reveal fun cooking tips, but for now, I think I’ll start by addressing who I am and why I became a chef.

First of all, I will come clean and admit that I’ve never been a life-long foodie. I’m definitely a FIT (foodie-in-training) which I’ve discovered is a really wonderful thing as I love learning and experimenting with new spices and flavors along with ways to boost full flavor without adding lots of salt, sugar or fats.

Wow, it feels good to admit that! Okay, now on to the 2nd part of my admission:

I attended the Chef Training Program of the Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute, not because I wanted to speed up my potential FIT-ness, but rather because the school offered so many amazing individual classes that had always interested me that I decided I might as well take them all, which included:
1. Cooking for people with food allergies – I was personally diagnosed with gluten, soy and dairy food allergies around 2000. I was diligent for 2 months about avoiding these foods when first diagnosed and quickly dropped 14 lbs. However, I fell off the wagon hard after consuming a slice of cheese pizza my niece and nephew didn’t want to eat after our adventure at Chuck E. Cheese.
2. Cooking for people with serious health issues, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. This was the MAIN reason why I wanted to attend. I wanted answers as to why my Mom endured horrific bouts of near starvation during her chemo treatments in 2006. She would develop painful sores in her throat 3 days after the treatment that would last several days and she wouldn’t be able to eat. The only advice she was given was to drink canned protein shakes (which she thoroughly disliked) or bring her to the hospital for an IV drip. I kept pushing her to try a shake, which she finally did and then promptly threw it up. We then had to immediately take her to the emergency room . . . for the last time. I’d cried many a night (including now as I write this) for having been so helpless. Unfortunately, I learned about this school way too late to help my Mom, but I’ve wanted to take the information that I’ve learned to help others, in her memory.

I graduated from the culinary school in May of 2008. It took a few years of trying catering and such, but I always found myself wanting to cook using the techniques that I learned in school. Thus, the creation of L’s Kitchen, LLC. I get to cook meals that are flavor-full but contain minimal amounts of salts, fats and sugars, along with restricting use of artificial ingredients. I’ve even catered several events where people were delighted that they could indulge in the food and didn’t have to feel guilty about it!

As I’ve just blogged all of this, I realize there are several items that I’ll enjoy discussing in more detail. Stay tuned for future blogs and in the meantime, I’m wishing you a very beautiful and health-filled day.

Cheers to you!
~Linda