It all started when...
as a little girl, maybe about seven or eight, i found myself enamored with grandma mae’s garden. it was expansive and wild, and i was a hungry child full of curiosity. faint memories flood my mind of roaming between the rows of plump berries, fire engine red tomatoes, long zucchinis with their bright flowers, and, my favorite, magenta rhubarb, sneakily plucking and gobbling up anything within arms’s reach. once caught nibbling on a stalk of her prized rhubarb, grandma mae decided it was time i learn her secret rhubarb pie recipe. and it was that day my heart knew.
hi! i'm monica. sharing a smile is one of the most simple yet profound acts in life, and i've always considered making others smile my purpose. food just happens to be my medium.
i was once asked why i chose to cook. the love runs deep, and my response was and still remains "because i like to work with my hands and i like to make people happy." few things in life are as satisfying as ripping into a warm loaf of freshly baked bread. that giddiness you feel from biting into a gooey chocolate chip cookie can make you dance from the inside out. a perfectly drippy egg sandwich at dawn can ignite your soul, feeding the passion to carry you throughout your day. this life chose me to capture the heart and soul of food and share that with others.
today, i currently spend most of my time playing with food, although my path did not follow the traditional culinary trajectory. i didn't go to culinary school. instead, i took the traditional college education route, garnering a BA in communications with a concentration in public relations. at 20, i embarked on a remarkable career path in the city that never sleeps thanks to lizzie grubman, dan klores, and melanie young. but somehow, i kept gravitating towards our food related clients. it was fate, and thanks to one incredibly convincing mentor, maureen petrosky, i garnered the chutzpah to ask my favorite chef idol, pastry chef deborah racicot, if i could learn from her by working for free. as soon as those doors opened, i was determined to soak in everything i could from the best that i could because, as friedrich nietzche proclaimed:
you have your way. i have my way. as for the right way, the correct way, the only way, it does not exist.
as i forged my way, i often found myself in places i never dreamt i would be good enough to be, and, for all the people who helped that happen, i am forever grateful.
they say the fork in the road is inevitable, and, at a certain time, you must leave the comfort zone to keep learning, and sometimes you must reinvent. life is funny and like a box of chocolates, always full of surprises and you never know what you’re gonna get. i still have to pinch myself every so often.