My journey begins in my italian grandmothers kitchen. She was a beautiful and amazing woman. She spoke almost no english and I spoke no italian, somehow we still managed to understand each other completely. She was always in her kicthen, so as a small child I was always in her ktchen as well. There was always something cooking, always something to help with and of course always something to eat. The kitchen was always a happy warm place in my families home. I remember all my aunties kitchens, my great grandma roses kitchen and of course my moms kitchen. I feel like I have spent most of my life living, learning and loving in a kitchen. I had dreams of being a broadway musical star when I was a youngster and pursued my dreams in New York City. To help pay my way and my rent I did what all young artists do, I waited on tables. Living in New York City opened up an entire world of culture, style, music, dance, art and amazingly to me FOOD. Food that I had never imagined could be so varied, different and delicious! I spent several years studying and working in NY all the while paying my bills by working in restaurants. I was studying dance at the Alvin Ailey School of Dance when I met the father of my children. It was a very intense love and before I knew it I was off getting married and not dancing anymore. We spent several happy years being young and in love and living in NYC. We spoke about children and the next thing I knew I was pregnant with my first child, a beautiful son. NYC became difficult with a child, I was unable to afford any type of child care, I did not have family to help me out any longer and I could not work. I felt very alone and isolated. We made a decision to leave New York and come out to the Pacific North West. We drove all the way across this beautiful grand country. It was a tough journey with a two year old. We landed in Portland Oregon. I loved it immediately, and I still love it.We started a new life and once again I was working in a restaurant. I was 30 and knew I needed to not be a waitress any longer. I asked to take over the kitchen manager position that had come open and much to my surprise my Boss agreed. Then when our Pastry Chef left our baker took his position and I asked to take the assistants position. Once again ti my amazement my Boss said yes. This is where the journey to being a restaurant owner and pastry chef began. It has been over 25 years now that myself and my business partner have been working together. He was the assistant who took over the Pastry Chef position at my first job in Oregon, he trained me as a baker an we have been working together ever since. I am not able to go into a fully descriptive life journey here.My life has been so full of joy, tragidy, loss, love, change, oh I could go on and on.I will finish saying that this culinary journey has become intertwined with a health journey.I have been dealing with many diseases that my family has had. They can almost all be helped if not irradicated through a healthful diet. I also have come to realize that there are so many people suffering due to poor diets and lack of access to information and fresh food. I feel having been so blessed by the food industry that I need to give back. I want and need to help others learn and find ways to improve their lives through good eating habits, learned cooking skills, learned shoppping and planning skills, and knowledge on how to access fresh foods. This has become my new mission. I am just starting and I am looking for ways to further educate myself and ways to further help others.