Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, I began cooking in my grandmother’s kitchen. Since I was 7 years old, I would stay over at her house and assist her with cooking in any way I could. She is Italian, and although she did not speak it, she sure could cook. Ranging from huge pillow-like raviolis to steaks on the grill, any meal was a success! It was from then on I knew that I was destined to cook!
Growing up, I worked part-time in local restaurants and at Wegmans Food and Pharmacy for 10 years in their various food departments. I attended college to be a Physician Assistant, but it took me awhile to figure out that I needed to pursue my “passions” in life. After earning my degree, I finally decided to move away from snow country to sunny San Diego and have worked the last 12 years in a Cardiology office treating patients, some of whose diseases have been exacerbated by poor dietary habits. Although a rewarding career, it has not been my true love. I decided to attend culinary school at San Diego Culinary Institute in La Mesa. It was the best decision I ever made. It was there that I received the best culinary education from leading Chefs from around the world. While at school, I attended culinary competitions in Las Vegas and San Francisco, learning from various chefs from around the country. After graduation, I completed my externship at Savory in Encinitas under Chef Pascal Vignau. Upon completion of the program, I was awarded the prestigious Harold Meyberg award for culinary excellence.
After graduation, I started my own company, Andrea at Your Table, in which I teach private and group cooking lessons, cater, appear in the media, and perform cooking demos in the community. I have taught cooking classes at The Prado Cooking School at Balboa Park. I also won a competition on The Food Network resulting in filming an episode of “Grill It with Bobby Flay”, Season 2 which aired August 2009.
Giving back to the community is also important to me. I have volunteered at several cooking schools in San Diego including Barbeques Galore, Macys, and Great News and also assist local chefs with private functions and events in the area. In addition to cooking, I love to read, try new restaurants, salsa dance, play flute and piano, and travel. I also have a Wellness company that assists people to become accountable for their health through coaching, consulting, and classes.