F&W's #FOODWINEWOMEN series spotlights top women in food and drink in collaboration with Toklas Society. On Tuesdays in January, inspiring chefs and entrepreneurs share the lessons they wish they could tell their younger selves. Use the hashtag to tweet your tips to live by (@foodandwine) for the chance to be featured.
When I finished college, I hadn’t a clue as to what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’d worked since I was 14, primarily in jobs associated with food. I’d traveled from Morocco to Guatemala and always found myself in kitchens. I loved food and I loved being in the kitchen, but it didn’t occur to me that’s where I was meant to be professionally. Instead I took what I thought was a safe road—got married and studied to be a nurse practitioner. It was a disaster. I was squelched and couldn’t breathe. I escaped both my marriage and my would-be career and found my way back to the kitchen. I’ve been there ever since. I had to be in charge of me, and I had to be me. It had to be food, and it had to be fun.