That is so kind, please thank her! I actually had no plans when I started this journey – I enjoyed having my small little blog, writing random things while sitting and waiting for castings. Twitter came along, and I was able to share that food passion to a completely different audience. A guy wrote me a direct message MANY years ago, saying that if I ever wanted to do a book, to reach out. I remember writing back that I didn’t think I was quite there yet. I didn’t think I had gained trust among people enough to really have serious credibility. He said that was fine and to let him know when I was ready.
Maybe a year after this, I found out the food network was looking for new talent. They set up a program for me to learn all the basics and ANYTHING else I was curious about (including how to describe food, talk through a recipe, etc) – I bought my first pair of terrible chef clogs and went to Chelsea Market every day (their test kitchens were above) and I remember feeling so lucky and also bewildered that I got to do it. Two incredible women showed me all the ropes of the test kitchen. I will never forget their humor and love and PATIENCE with me, some random, untrained cook. Every day in that kitchen was like going to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Just so much happening, so much passion and love for food. AND SO MUCH TO EAT.
In the end, I actually realized I did NOT have a talent for talking and cooking at the same time. And I’ve always been more of the curious type than an expert. I worried that I would look silly in comparison to the greats that do it so well (Ina, Giada, etc) – and you know what? I am still terribly insecure cooking on camera or in front of people. Which is maybe why I prefer making cookbooks and cooking by myself for the ‘gram. Phew, this is my therapy!
A little more time went by, my passion for cooking and eating became more clear to people, and I decided to meet that guy who DM’ed me on instagram years before. I couldn’t have made a more correct choice. He became the editor for both my Cravings books and introduced me to my right arm, Adeena Sussman. Two of the most wonderful people I could ever imagine working with.
Anyhow, my point is, everyone has their own journey and for me, it came together based on good timing, meeting the right people, and sheer luck. I think the only thing I will take credit for is knowing to take my time, and utilizing social media to interact with all the right people.
Best of luck to your girlfriend!! And my favorite comfort food is my mom’s scalloped potatoes 🙂