I write for the neighborhood news site DNAinfo.com Chicago and on occasion for the Chicago Sun-Times and other outlets. The Sun-Times was my home for 13 years. I was a features reporter, a news reporter and the food editor.
I’ve been nominated twice for a James Beard Journalism Award, for a story that used DNA testing to show the mislabeling of fish in sushi restaurants and a series about a 57-year-old novice home cook.
Dessert is my kryptonite. The one year I judged the Pillsbury Bake-Off, I was assigned to the dessert category. It was a wonderfully cruel experience. I’d do it again.
I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, the youngest of four. Interpret that however you want.
Started knocking tennis balls around at age 9, which led to tournament play every summer thereafter, a scholarship to the University of Illinois at Chicago (my peak late-night-burrito-eating years) and a sock tan that didn’t fade until my 20s.
My parents are Filipino, which means my mom will cook for you even if you’re not hungry while getting you to divulge highly personal information and my dad will tell you his favorite story about how the cashew nut is not really a nut at all.
I cook and bake quite a bit. More importantly, my family seems to like my food.