Boston or Bust

I leave for Boston in one week to begin my culinary externship with America’s Test Kitchen. It will be a bittersweet summer — a chance of a lifetime that comes with the high price of leaving my husband and daughter for three months.

I’m not sure what my plans will be when I return. I’ve come a long way in terms of my food writing, securing recurring writing assignments with Food Network, BlogHer, and The Orlando Sentinel, in addition to Chef2Chef. I also had the opportunity to write recipes for Martha Stewart Radio and Cooking with Emeril this year, and have contributed to two cookbooks, Dinner for Busy Moms, and The Flexitarian Cookbook.

Despite my writing success, I still feel I’ve got loads of catching up to do in the Chef-ing part of my career. Switching careers from a high paying marketing/film job with Disney, at the age of 38, wasn’t easy. But I think if I had started this culinary adventure in my twenties, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it or appreciated it as much as I do right now.

I learned early on that restaurant life is not for me, after shadowing at Norman’s in Orlando one evening. I have so much respect for the entire process that goes into running a successful restaurant like Norman’s; it was an amazing experience to be on the line with his chefs, even for that one night. They were very kind and patient with me — I was accurate with my knife cuts, but slower than molasses!

America’s Test Kitchen will involve everything I love: recipe development and testing, food writing and editing, marketing, food styling and photography, and television production, without the pressure of 300 covers in a 2-hour time span.

So maybe that’s my answer? When I get back, I just have to concentrate on finding a position with a similar test kitchen. Alton Brown, are you hiring?

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            Culinary Arts (AS)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Intensive Sommelier Training
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            Culinary Arts
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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