Meet Serena

01_29_16_DUDE_SERENA_PORTRAIT_106_p As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not someone who can claim a lifelong love of food and cooking. In fact, I was an upsettingly picky eater until college, and my only culinary role model was my mother, a woman well-versed in the art of burning things. So it came as quite a shock to my family and friends when, after graduating from college in 2009, I announced that I was moving to Paris and enrolling in culinary school.

I honestly had zero desire to become a chef. I simply wanted to master some domestic skills, practice my French, and maybe find the perfect red lipstick—all while figuring out what to do with my life. I told myself that I’d spend three months completing the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu, and then I’d come home and get a real job.

Since you’re now reading my food blog, things obviously didn’t go according to the original plan.

My early cooking school days were mildly traumatic (which is unsurprising given that the only dish I’d successfully “cooked” up to that point was a burnt grilled cheese), but after a couple months, I had become a completely different person. I was gutting and filleting fish, deboning chickens, breaking down whole rabbits, and whipping up hollandaise sauce without breaking a sweat. The most insane part? I loved every second of it. Realizing that I’d found my (very unexpected) calling, I enthusiastically signed on to complete the full diploma program and never looked back.

Since graduating from LCB in 2011, I’ve worn a few different culinary hats—private chef, culinary instructor, freelance writer, recipe developer, nutritional spirit guide, etc.—but blogging has easily been my most rewarding pursuit, both personally and professionally. (So trite, but so true.) I started this site on a whim while in Paris with no goal in mind other than to casually share some of my new culinary skillz with other domestically-challenged souls (i.e. my friends at home, who I assumed would be the only ones interested in reading it). There was a lot of pink, Julia Child quotes, and Blackberry photos on back in the day, but I had a clear vision: Help others get their shit together in the kitchen. And make it fun, dammit.

This site has come a long way since then (thank God), but my mission remains the same. I truly believe that cooking should be accessible, experimental, and most importantly, FUN. Yes, culinary mishaps are bound to happen, but they’re par for the course (and they make for excellent stories at cocktail parties), so try to relax a little bit. If I can domesticate me, you can definitely domesticate you. And I’m here to help! This site is full of incredibly straightforward, (mostly) healthy recipes that are doable by even the most inexperienced and/or kitchen-averse peeps, as well as tons of general tips and tricks for domestic success.

So, without further ado, welcome! Take a look around. I’m thrilled that you’re here, and I hope you’ll find something (food-related or otherwise) that speaks to you. I’d start your search with a quinoa bake, The Dude Diet, or my feelings on Gwyneth



p.s. I just released my first book, The Dude Diet: Clean(ish) Food For People Who Like To Eat Dirty, a cookbook/lifestyle guide for nutritionally confused dudes (and those who love them) inspired by my longterm boyfriend/roommate, Logan. For more information, see here.

p.p.s. If you want to get to know me a little bit better, I suggest giving this post a quick read. And maybe this one. Ooooh, you can also watch me overshare on YouTube!

p.p.p.s. Questions? Suggestions? Want to work with me? Drop me a line. I get all kinds of excited to hear from you, and I promise to respond ASAP. (Sometimes that takes me a few days, but better late than never, right?)

Sexy photo courtesy of the great Matt Armendariz.