Chef and Proprietor of the events catering company Blue Door Gatherings
What advice would you give to a girl graduating from Williston today?
Stay true to what you are passionate about and always trust your intuition. I knew that I wanted to attend a non-traditional college after attending Williston. Williston gave me the confidence to trust my intuition and pursue a career in food. The rigor of my high school experience set me up for a fast-paced, challenging work environment and success as a business owner in the food industry. I’m grateful for my experience at Williston because it empowered me as a young adult to take risks, seek adventure and find a path in life that not only fulfills my passions but gives me purpose.
Tell us about a woman who is your hero and why?
My mother is my constant inspiration for everything I do. I grew up with a mother who did it all—she led a group of hospitalists by night, made dinner for our family every day, led the local girl scout troop, planned every school Halloween party, took us to broadway shows on the weekend, planned epic family trips… She had an amazing career that she was passionate about and she was so present as a mother to us. Growing up I knew that I wanted to be a fiercely independent woman just like her!
What do you think is next for women in your professional field?
I hope to see more women in food. I don’t think it is an easy career for women. The majority of professional kitchens are still dominated by men and unfortunately the culture of many kitchens is still so outdated. I think until we see a shift in the work place environment we won’t see a lot of women pursuing careers in food. It is something I feel passionate about changing with my own business, Blue Door Gatherings. I love hiring young women—especially young mothers because I want to curate an environment that is sustainable and desirable for all people who love working with food.
What motivates you in your work and life?
I love being a host. I think my purpose in life is to be a great host whether it is an intimate dinner party in my backyard or a lavash wedding. At Blue Door, we get to be part of people’s biggest milestone events. It gives me so much joy to cook for people on these days. There is no better way to connect with people than over a shared meal in a beautiful setting. It is still amazing to me that I have created a job for myself where I get to do that every day.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Live everyday to the fullest. It sounds trite but I really love to maximize every day. The days I am the happiest are the days I feel like i’ve put in a hard days work, done something for myself, made dinner, had some good wine, spent time outside and had quality time with the ones I love the most.