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My aim is to promote compassionate lifestyle choices through the creation of satisfying and sustainable vegan fare.
Having been an animal lover my whole life, I made the transition to veganism in my early 20’s. Food was always an underlying passion, and my commitment to a vegan lifestyle only further ignited this passion.
Learning about the environmental and ethical impact linked with raising animals for food inspired me to get more involved. At the time I lived in Miami, having recently graduated from Florida International University with a B.A. in Liberal Studies, and began to volunteer for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. This provided a platform to speak with hundreds of people regarding the benefits of a plant-based diet, deepening my own understanding of the issues and ability to effectively connect with the public to inspire change. My volunteer work led to a full-time job with ARFF, where I served as project coordinator on educational campaigns regarding the use and abuse of animals in the industries of clothing, entertainment, food, and vivisection.
In 2011, I moved back to my hometown of Pittsburgh, and began working at the city’s premier allergen-friendly retailer, Naturally Soergel’s. My time spent working at Naturally Soergel’s was invaluable, yielding first-hand access to the industry’s top vegan and allergen-friendly products. While there, I was given the opportunity to lead vegan, gluten-free cooking classes, as well as offering catering services and one-on-one consultation.
In 2014, I enrolled in a plant-based, professional chef training program at the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, TX. My certification process at the Natural Epicurean included 900 hours study of vegan and vegetarian cuisine, Macrobiotic, Ayurvedic and Raw Foods, with an emphasis on health-supportive and sustainable foods. My training also expanded my awareness on global food issues, such as: GMOs, food waste, and food deserts, as well as building relationships with and volunteering for local organic farms.
Upon returning to Pittsburgh, I took a chef position at Randita’s Organic Vegan Cafe.