What makes you feel patriotic?
I LOVE this country! I love our freedoms. I love that the USA is the only country in the world where you can be your true self, re-invent yourself and start life over as often as we want. In America, we are not confined to our backgrounds, our upbringing, or even our mistakes. We can move from state to state freely, change careers, express our opinions without legal repercussions, dress as we want, love who we want, and if we work hard and smart enough… I can actually improve our destinies for generations to come.
What brought you to the craft beer industry?
I started drinking craft beer when I had my baby at age 20 and was struggling to produce breast milk. A doula I met told me that drinking beer could assist with milk production. Since I had a picky palette, even at that young age, I was drawn to the tastier, higher quality beer options since I could never stomach Bud Light or Coors. I found many craft and local beer options at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joes that made me fall in love with craft in order to nurture my child.
Do your culinary skills cross over? In what ways?
My culinary skills certainly cross over into craft and vis versa. I’ve been experimenting with implementing beer into sauces and desserts for years. When I had my chocolate business in Los Angeles, that is when I started learning how to pair craft beer with foods to create a more rounded and exciting tasting experience for my customers. Now my goal is to fuse more raw beer ingredients into various savory and sweet culinary creations such as hop dusted croutons and amber malted cheesecakes.
As you are committed to your career, what is your greatest reward in it all?
The greatest reward I get from my career only comes through observation… I love when I can see my guests’ reactions when the dish arrives at their table. I LIVE to see them take photos of their plates, when they take at first bite and there is a positive reaction. And there is always that wonderful moment, when Im catering a wedding for example, when the mother of the bride come into the kitchen to thank us for helping make their family’s special day even more perfect.
How does your profession affect your family?
Although my family respects my career choice and admires the sacrifices I’ve taken to get to where I am, it hasn’t always been easy for me. I was separated from my child for many years because of this profession. I’ve missed many holidays, birthdays, and vacations with them because of it. This in turn has created many years of deep depression and ironically, I could only take refuge from the sadness in the very place that created it…the kitchen.
Why is this annual “Military Family Appreciation Beersgiving”, an event that is important to you?
It is important to me to have real human connection. Having lived on the West coast my whole life, I have observed that the type of get together that most people enjoy, or consider a party, no longer serve me. Clubs can be too superficial, parties can invite domestic violence, sometimes bars have dark/predatory energy, and addiction and bad behavior is a turn off to me. I’ve always preferred a small dinner party to anything else. I want to be able to hold meaningful conversation without the music being too loud, I want to be around children, and I want to feel safe. The Beersgiving event gives me a chance to do all of that alongside my fellow Patriots. I’m tired of the gluttony I’ve seen surrounding Thanksgiving and I’m embarrassed by the behavior I’ve seen surrounding Black Friday shopping (I used to work retail). Beergiving allows me the honor of serving a group of people who have made sacrifices I respect, doing what I love to do, and finding the human connection I so desperately crave.