Being raised by parents that love food and its culture, my foundation began with grace. I experienced my first taste of impeccable quality and culinary alchemy in a professional kitchen on the Monterey Peninsula in California at the tender age of 13. For almost 4 years under the tutelage of Chef Paulo Kautz and Chef Silvia Medina, creative and quality standards were set in stone. Once a week Chef Paulo would lead me through the farmer’s market with a discriminating eye choosing the week’s produce. Chef Sylvia ingrained the idea that food is a medium to be filled with our intentions and only the positive ones were allowed in the kitchen.
With a growing passion for the culinary arts, I pursued a degree at the California Culinary Academy of San Francisco. While in San Francisco my technique was refined and my palate educated not only in school but also in the culinary melting pot of the city. For 2 years I studied under the talented Chef Mike Fennelly and his amazing crew, pushing the envelope of food and art, taste and presentation.
Being drawn to the culture and flavors of Hawaii, I escaped to Maui following graduation to work with Chef Tom Selman of David Paul’s Lahaina Bistro. For 4 years I studied under Maui’s top chefs perfecting the worlds cuisines while utilizing Hawaii’s freshest ingredients from our local farms. I also spent 6 months on the live-aboard dive boat, the Aggressor 2, off the Kona coast of the Big Island bringing the guests and crew 3 meals and 2 snacks a day for week long outings. It was on Maui that I began my personal chef service utilizing the products from a couple very special farms. As the cheffing focus turned to vegan choices, opportunity was quick to present itself here on Kauai with the Blossoming Lotus. The full vegan establishment has its priorities set on healing culinary alchemy while utilizing the resources from the farms on the island. As the Chef De Cuisine at the Blossoming Lotus, I was able to begin bridging medicine and cuisine, innovative creativity and the classics. During 2006 the Blossoming Lotus was awarded the Best Restaurant on Kauai by the Honolulu Advisor.
After 2 years of growth at the Blossoming Lotus, I traveled to south asia to experience the flavors of India, Thailand and Laos. Since returning to Kauai, the curries have been flowing and I reestablished my personal chef service. I continued to work with the Blossoming Lotus as a bit of creative director behind menu changes and did a twice a month food and wine pairing event for ~30 guests. In On New Years Eve 2008 we closed the doors and entered a new culinary adventure.
I moved back to the SF bay area in 2009 and dropped right into the culinary and farm mecca of Sonoma County. I had the fine fortune of being one of the chefs at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center for the better part of 2 seasons. As chef we would work directly with the farmers and their harvest lists in creating our menus. What a culinary Joy!
During this time I started studying Medical Qigong with Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson in Monterey. The course covered the 2+ amazing life changing transformational years studying the depths and nuances of Taoist medicine, magic, and martial arts. Please do ask me more about it. My perception of our world around us and how we move through it changed in ways i havent been able to put words to yet. And it has ignited a desire to deepen my knowledge base and offerings around the millenia old traditions of living, dying, and peace of old China.
During my time Studying in Monterey, I met my partner and love, Jana. Here our dance began again in this life and through that dance, we have created this offering of Shri Cuisine. It is a dance of Life, of Love, of Light, of Divine connection, of Healing, of Gardening, and Many more. As we play, we share with you.