I am a writer and professional cook based in eastern Oregon and the author of Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut. Before that, I was a vegetarian living in Seattle.

I grew to love grassfed beef–and the folks who raise it–when I moved to Oregon’s remote Wallowa Valley in 2001. For me, cooking and eating well-raised meat, along with an abundance of fresh and local vegetables and whole grains, makes for a smart and sustainable diet. Inspired by a holistic approach to good, local food, I lead the Wallowas chapter of Slow Food USA.

I am a contributing writer for Zester Daily and my food writing and recipes have appeared in major newspapers and national magazines, including Fine Cooking, Saveur, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. I have published food essays in Leite’s Culinaria, Food and Booze: A Tin House Literary Feast and The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink.

Before moving inland, I cooked at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, attended Seattle Culinary Academy, and reluctantly left my beloved kitchen position at The Herbfarm. I received scholarships from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs for advanced study in France and New York.

Now, I am preparing to open the first farm-to-table tavern in eastern Oregon in May 2014. I am chronicling these adventures on my Rural Eating blog while writing my next book.