About Valerie

My story is not like others. I didn’t learn to cook at my mother’s knee. In fact, she never wanted me in the kitchen because I was in the way. Good food was always important in our house, and was always a topic of discussion (my father is Italian), but it wasn’t until I moved out of the house and realized that I didn’t know how to feed myself, and missed my mother’s food, that I took an interest in cooking.

I began cooking, and learning from my television teachers, Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. I found a passion for making good food for my friends, and developed a following. The biggest compliment I got was when my Italian friend who lived down the street would call me around dinner time to ask what I was doing. Well, he knew I was cooking and that I would invite him over! He said my cooking reminded him of home.

After taking classes at Tante Marie Cooking School in San Francisco, I began teaching classes out of my home, and felt that I had finally found what I was truly passionate about. I love sharing my knowledge with others, and mostly showing people how fun and easy cooking for your family and friends can be! My classes are held in my home kitchen in San Rafael, in beautiful Marin County.

I love all sorts of cuisine, but gravitate mostly towards Italian, Argentine, and Mexican flavors. I believe in making the best, organic, natural, and simple ingredients shine.