Monday, August 6, 2018

Imagine the fun of being a kid in the kitchen!

I felt like a kid again, remembering the excitement of cooking with my mom as a child. Under the expert instruction of Chef Gino (ginothechef on Instagram), making pasta with flour flying, and cracking eggs for dough so strong and thin that it stretched the length of the room, was only surpassed by the sounds of laughter and the taste of the meal that followed. In another room, I could smell the fresh-baked\ chocolate chip cookies waiting for us for dessert. The whiff of aroma triggered childhood memories of enjoying the cookie dough batter left on the mixing beaters.

I was invited to celebrate the grand opening of the new location of The Gourmandise School just a few steps away from their previous spot but now with more space and an even greater variety of classes.

In 2011, Chef Clemence opened the school just blocks away from the famous Santa Monica farmers market, recognized as one of the largest and most diverse farmers markets in the nation. With fresh, sustainable food from California farms, everyday chefs were ripe to hone their pastry and culinary skills. The school grew quickly. Watching the growth was as pleasurable as watching as a ball of dough rise as one would with the labor of love in breadmaking.

The expansion of the school enables more students and unique culinary classes taught by the finest instructors offering the best techniques and instruction for all skill levels.  The school offers cooking and baking classes, a professional series, kid’s classes, fascinating food workshops, and private events. 

Why is The Gourmandise School so special? Because it embodies the attributes I value in life. Love, fun, authenticity, and connection combined with the opportunities for knowledge, competency, and expertise.

If you are lucky enough to live near or plan to visit Santa Monica in the future, check out to find a class. For inspiration anytime, follow
@GourmandiseLA on Instagram.

Monday, July 30, 2018

When it comes to getting essential nutrients, requirements change at every stage of life.

Children are not simply small adults. When an embryo grows in a woman's womb, most of us know that different organs develop at different times. We hear about what to know in each trimester of pregnancy.

But once the baby is born, the focus is often on how long to breast feed or give formula before solid food is introduced. Breast milk comes with the perfect balance of nutrition and formula is formulated to contain essential nutrients. It's all done for us.

When we need to move to new foods, we watch as the baby accepts some foods and rejects others or we continue to rely on what the experts tell us when we buy "baby food". We begin to learn that each baby has his or her own preferences. Often moms worry if the child is eating what he or she needs especially when finnicky.

It's obvious to all of us that children grow quickly until adulthood. We are aware that we do not all grow at the same rate. What we might not think about is that we continue to physically change our shape and characteristics externally. Otherwise, we'd all look like a baby - just larger! It follows that we continue to have different needs as our body changes in different ways and therefore nutritional needs continue to change.

We observe the volume of food that changes but somehow we don't pay much attention to the types of nutritional requirements at different ages. Information is far too confusing and inconsistent. More and more I hear about moms who are on some diet or following other nutritional information they've read about and then feed their children similarly. Often we tell our growing children what they should eat as if they were little versions of ourselves.

While our adult bodies are changing less in our 30's and  40's, our children's bodies are still developing at least as long as they are growing which tends to be in the late teens for girls but well into the 20's for boys. Much research shows that frontal lobes in male brains are still developing in their mid 20's.

Our cells are constantly renewing. As we age, cell renewal slows unless we continue to support the function.

Nutritional requirement change at every lifestage. Our bodies tell us if we know how to listen.

You can learn by contacting me at


About Me

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First trained as a food chemist and nutritionist, my career began enriching a Twinkie, comparing the nutrition of a Twinkie to an apple and studying the role of sugar in the diet. With an M.B.A. and years in food and pharma understanding consumers and manufacturers, I'm back to where I started - food should taste great and serve to keep us healthy. To do so, there needs to be consumer awareness. Consumers need to vote for what they want by buying what they really want. If they buy impulsively, that's what they will see more of. They need to practice balance and responsible choices. That's when change will come. Please engage me with your conversation so that I can help you make and stick to better food choices that you enjoy. You'll gain a deeper appreciation of food not only from farm to table but farm to health. My vision is to promote solutions for healthful food and food practices you can happily embody and embrace!