I began to cook as soon as I was old enough to reach the stove. I would spend hours in the kitchen with my yιαyιά (Greek grandmother). Under her loving guidance, I learned how to make my own yogurt, cure olives, make homemade breads and pastas, and how to create a wide variety of authentic Greek dishes. To this day, both my yιαyιά and the cuisine of Greece influence my cooking.
In 1999 I decided to turn a life-long passion for cooking into a career. I moved to San Francisco, and graduated from the California Culinary Academy, later furthering my education in advanced pastry skills and savory cooking, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Over the years I have worked at such notable restaurants as Rubicon, The Slanted Door, Ame, LuLu and Yoshi’s, where I was named “one of the cities top pastry chefs” by the San Francisco Chronicle’s head food critic Michael Bauer.
Some of the publications my work has been featured in include: Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, People, Details, Shape, Food Arts, and the San Francisco Chronicle. As well as internationally in Elle magazine, Eleutherotipia and Zaxaroplastiki.
My televised cooking career started with a few local television stints in San Francisco, and then came Top Chef season 2! Since Top Chef I still refuse to “pack my knives and go.” I sometimes compete on the show Food Network Challenge, and can also be seen on various morning shows promoting healthier ways to cook and bake.
Having a personal interest in health and fitness, I began focusing my attention on using natural ingredients to create recipes that were full of flavor, without all the fat. This proved particularly challenging when it came to developing delicious desserts, which are typically full of butter and sugar. But since I do love a good challenge, I kept at it!
Over the years my low-fat, and also my sugar-free desserts, have continued to grow in popularity. My low-fat chocolate fudge cake was a hit on Top Chef and was later featured in Food & Wine. I recently received my nutrition certification through Cornell University, and completed my first cookbook, Sweet & Skinny. Sweet & Skinny features 100 delicious, but skinny, desserts. There are even sugar-free recipes, made with Truvia natural sweetener, for those of my friends, and those of you, who can’t have sugar. After all, life is too short to skip dessert!
When I’m not in the kitchen I can usually be found enjoying my sport of choice, swimming. Or, I am traveling throughout the islands of Greece, giving culinary tours, cooking lessons, or just relaxing on a beach.
For more information you are welcome to contact me.