Welcome to Sale, Pepe, Amore, a food and travel blog about my culinary adventures around the world and dishes I’ve also created on my own.
I was born in San Francisco, California and was mostly raised in Oakland, California. My father is German American, originally from upstate New York, and my mother is from a small country village in Japan, providing a diverse cultural background growing up. My love affair with food began at a very young age due to my father who has a great love of food and cooking. Everyday he would prepare dinner from scratch even after a long day of work. Dinner time was always my favorite time of the day as I could relax and savor a delicious home cooked meal. My father also enjoyed dining out so I was able to eat at some of the finest restaurants in San Francisco as I child, never realizing how privileged I was until today. I was also privileged to travel the world from the time of my birth with yearly visits to my mother’s relatives in Japan, where my mother, grandmother, and aunt would prepare traditional Japanese food for me. These childhood memories of comforting food are forever imbedded in my memory.
After high school, I enrolled in college at California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. Away from home, I began cooking everyday for myself, feeling happiest and most enthusiastic in the kitchen. I watched cooking shows, read cooking books and magazines, and looked forward to testing out new recipes. In the spring of 2011, I graduated from college with a bachelor of science degree in wine and viticulture. I learned winemaking and interned as a cellar worker at J. Lohr Winery in Paso Robles during the 2010 harvest. I enjoyed studying enology but realized before graduating that my true passion was food rather than winemaking.
In the fall of 2011, I packed my suitcases and moved half way across the world to Florence, Italy where I enrolled in Apicius International School of Hospitality, a small cooking school. Here I was taught basic techniques and then the extensive world of both Italian and world-wide cuisine. Switching career paths was the best decision of my life as every day I grew more enthusiastic about the world of gastronomy. My last four years living in Florence have been an extraordinary culinary journey, in which I traveled throughout Italy and Europe discovering innovative foods and learning as much as I could about food.