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MY Story


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MY Story


 Photo Credit: Cristin Young

Photo Credit: Cristin Young

I am the Director of Health and Sustainability Leadership and the Editorial Director for the Strategic Initiatives Group at The Culinary Institute of America. Based in San Francisco, I oversee a portfolio of the college's food industry thought-leadership programs focused on making menus more nutritious and better for the environment.

My first book, Devoured: How What We Eat Defines Who We Are (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2016), was a journey into the American food psyche. My forthcoming second book—a conscious eater's radically practical approach to food—will be published by Workman in spring 2020.

Born and raised in Seattle, I am a proud Pacific Northwesterner and lover of the outdoors. In fourth grade, my family and I lived on a farm in a small town in Tuscany. My brother and I attended the local public school, where we learned to speak Italian. 

Ever since living in Italy—and the epiphany that chicken nuggets came from actual chickens like the ones on our farm—I have been fascinated by food and custom.

A decade later, I studied for a semester at Università di Bologna. I took a course there on the cultural history of nutrition, and it taught me everything from medieval feast decorum to the evolution of the fork.

In 2009, I graduated from Stanford, where I studied history and math, competed on the triathlon team, and managed a student dining hall.

I spent the next few years writing and researching stories for Sunset magazine. Along with working on The Sunset Cookbook and The One-Block Feast book, I accepted the grueling task of adventuring around the American West to write about food.

In 2014, I completed my Master of Public Health in Health and Social Behavior at UC Berkeley, where I studied food systems, food innovation, and food writing under Michael Pollan. I was also a Fellow at the UC Berkeley Center for Health Leadership. Two years later, I was named one of the UC Global Food Initiative's 30 Under 30.

A firm believer in lifelong learning, I most recently completed the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program at Harvard's Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment.

My writing has been published in The Washington Post, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, Mic, WIRED, Edible San Francisco, EatingWell, and The New York Times, where I am a contributor to the Well blog.