I couldn’t tell you what gifts I received on my 5th birthday but I can recall the two tiered yellow cake my mother shaped to look like a hat was a sugary masterpiece! It was only recently I realized that not everyone has a cake-triggered memory. After graduating from Penn State with a degree in Hotel Restaurant & Institutional Management I worked for several large hotel companies. While living in Boston I realized a career change was needed. Labor Day 2007 I moved to a fourth floor walk up apartment in New York City’s East Village and my new career search began. After temping for a bit, I was hired full time at financial firm, but my career search continued. There were a few tears the day I learned I had developed severe allergies to gluten, eggs and dairy but became even more intrigued by these foods. Once I understood why those foods were used in recipes, the substitution possibilities were endless! After enrolling in the Culinary Arts Program at the Institute of Culinary Education life began to fall into place. While still working at the financial firm during the day, most of my energy outside of my day job is dedicated to seeing where my culinary adventures may lead.