Ambition, passion, creativity, a never ending curiosity, the fight for social, economic and racial justice and the belief that we are all connected fuel me to live each day to the best of my ability. Life is such a wild adventure and I am constantly in awe that we get to be here, alive, exploring this beautiful life.
My curiosity has taken me in many directions and I continue to live life in a multi-faceted way. Over the years I have been a cook, baker, photographer, writer, speaker, entrepreneur and traveler. Currently, my love of art and creation has led me into a new direction that I find deep enjoyment in: ceramics. I love elevating the art of a meal through the creation of handmade vessels to help showcase the beauty of food. From childhood, I dreamed of creating this life; one that is full of experiences and gives more than it takes, all while paying the bills by doing what I love.
I grew up in a tiny, religious, conservative, one stoplight, farming and hunting town in southwest Michigan. My childhood was spent devouring every book that I could find at the library, climbing trees and hanging out in the kitchen with my mother learning to bake. While I appreciated my quiet and woodsy childhood, there was a fire burning in me that eventually couldn’t be contained.
At the age of 16 I landed my first restaurant job was at Bob’s Big Boy diner. I began waiting tables and before long I decided that I wanted to work in the kitchen. I found myself frying eggs and flipping burgers for truckers until 1am on a school night. I wanted to learn everything that I could about that restaurant, even if the greasy kitchen wasn’t the place you would typically find a 16 year old girl. Bob’s Big Boy showed me that I liked the excitement of a restaurant setting, but it was in my high school culinary program where I learned that cooking was a thing. Something I could study in college or even make a profession out of. I attended culinary school in Michigan and worked my way through a number or kitchens and dining rooms, gaining the experience that I would need to someday create my own place.
In the years that followed I moved to Portland, Oregon with the dream, intention and plan to open my own restaurant. Through determination, grace, grit, relentless hard work (and a decent amount of tears) I opened my food cart, Prasad, at the age of 27. About 9 months later Prasad landed in a brick and mortar location in the Pearl District of Portland.
Between the years of culinary school and Portland, I also took some time to dig into my love of photography and eastern philosophy. Since then photography has morphed from a hobby into a sometimes gig and my eastern philosophy obsession led to a discovery of yoga, which led to me taking over ownership of a yoga studio called Yoga Pearl in 2012. My 2nd restaurant, Harlow, opened in 2013 and in 2015 my third restaurant, Prasad East, came to life. All three “sister” restaurants were focused on serving simple, clean, delicious and healthy food.
By the age of 33 I had four businesses, and the weight of that, along with the extreme daily workload, caught up with me. Even though I loved my businesses and my life was one of beauty and abundance, I was beyond worn out. It was time for a change, so in late 2018 I sold all three restaurants to make room for what was to come next. Then the COVID pandemic of 2020 hit hard and I also shut down Yoga Pearl in late 2020.
These days, life is focused on creativity, seeking joy, exploration and finding balance after being a business owner. I often travel the USA in my van and jet around the world as often as possible, while continually honing my skills as a cook, expanding my photography abilities, diving into my latest passion of crafting ceramics and trying my hand at other opportunities as they come along. I am also deeply invested in living fully, with wide-eyed wonderment, in the present moment with my incredible girlfriend and our two children.
I believe that, if we allow it, we are forever learning and growing. My life is vibrant and ever changing and I don’t know what the future holds, but I also believe that when we listen to our own deep inner truth and open ourselves up to possibility, we can all manifest the life that we want.
I invite you to come along with me on this beautiful ride. Let’s learn, grow, adapt, change, create, manifest and explore together.
Occasionally I email shop updates, musings, events and maybe even recipes. These newsletters will come from the heart and will hopefully add a little joy to your day. Sign up here if you’d like to stay connected!