Michelle began her career at age 15, as one of California’s last soda jerks. An established cook in the Bay area, she worked at both Zuni Café and Chez Panisse, pioneers of the local and sustainable food movement. At Zuni, she climbed the ranks after mastering the fundamentals of Californian cuisine and learned the skills of a thoughtful manager along the way. She roasted over 20,000 of Zuni’s famous chickens and, to this day, still craves a good Zuni Burger after a long day of work. At Chez Panisse, she deepened her love for vegetables and embraced the idea that our food choices impact the larger world. Both places taught Michelle where good ingredients come from and how to cook even the simplest meal with integrity.
Beyond the kitchen, she was the food stylist on Judy Rodgers’ media cookbook tour, styling for photo shoots, cooking demos and television appearances. She’s also had fun styling for cookbook authors Jamie Oliver, Diana Kennedy, Niloufer Ichaporia King, Terry Walters and Michael Symon, among others.
In 2008, Michelle curated the pickles and chutney pavilion for Slow Food Nation, a food-extravaganza that drew over 85,000 people to the Bay area. In the summer of 2009, with Anya Fernald, she launched the Yes We Can project in San Francisco, an initiative that inspired DIY canners across the country. She was awarded the 2009 culinary fellowship at the Lucas Artists Residency Program at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California.
Michelle’s writing has appeared in the Slow Food Guide to San Francisco and the civil eats blog. She has been profiled on Chow.com and the California Report and in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury, various Bay Area papers, and the New York Times.
A recent east coast transplant and proud new resident of Princeton, NJ, Michelle has been busy cooking for Etsy.com (catch her starring in two Etsy How-to Videos!), catering for Roberta’s in New York, teaching cooking classes, recipe testing for the Wall Street Journal, and… we’ll see what else!