Welcome! I've been a food and travel writer for more than 10 years, constantly seeking out meals, places and people with plenty of soul. In November 2012, I translated those passions into Salt & Sundry, a housewares shop in Washington, DC's newly revitalized Union Market.

Making the leap from writing to shop ownership has been plenty frightening but truly rewarding. I don't think it gets much better than opening your home, gathering friends around the table and digging into a satisfying meal. That's the heart of what I share on this site and what inspires the goods I stock at Salt & Sundry.

Entertaining shouldn't be intimidating. It should be fulfilling and comforting. Need convincing? Inspiration? Or just some fresh ideas? Swing by the shop for a chat.

DC has been home for 13 years now, but I originally hail from North Carolina, where my food-loving family passed on an unrelenting passion for eating well. (Props, Mom and Dad, for turning our suburban yards into wild, tangled gardens when I was little! I'll never forget you, sugar snaps.)

I've worked in the print world as a food critic, editor and graphic designer. In 2005, I created the website Metrocurean to share what I loved about cooking and DC's blossoming restaurant and bar scene. It became one of DC's most respected food websites.

My writing has also appeared in Food and Wine, Martha Stewart Living, The Washington Post, Jetsetter, Time Out guide books and Capitol File, among others. (Read some clips over here.) You can catch me regularly on News Channel 8 where I share my favorite cooking, home decor and party tips.

What should I eat for dinner?
That's a question I ask myself about five times a day. I take inspiration from what's in season at the market, what looks good in the stack of food magazines I'll never get through, and what tempts me on great blogs. Browse some of my favorite recipes here. Right now I'm loving this simple seafood stew and this French lentil salad with goat cheese from the fabulous Jennifer Segal.

Where should I eat for dinner?
If you're in DC, I have lots of favorites and am always happy to share. Check out my report for Martha Stewart Living for few current favorites. Email me if you're looking for something specific and I'll do my best to help. Twitter is another good way to ask me for quick recommendations. I also travel regularly to the Durham and Chapel Hill area and San Francisco and wine country if you need ideas there.

Did you go to cooking school?
I went to the cooking school of hard knocks. I kid. I'm not a professionally trained cook, just a crazy passionate eater and diner who's learned a lot alongside some of the country's best chefs. I've had the immense pleasure to cook with the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Lidia Bastianich, Michael Mina and more. I'm constantly learning and don't intend to stop anytime soon.

How did you get into food writing?
I started writing for newspapers back in 9th grade (thanks, Marcie Pachino!) and studied journalism at UNC Chapel Hill. I think the heart of food writing is great storytelling first and food expertise comes later. If you want to get into food writing, just never assume you know everything, triple check all assumptions, and you'll learn a lot.

Anything you won't eat?
I'll eat anything. Once. I'm down with organs, grisly bits, grasshoppers, embryonic duck egg in Vietnam (okay, so I only took a little bite). But I do have a few things I'm not crazy about. Green peppers. Mushy potatoes (I mean aren't they just better crispy?). Skim milk. (What's the point?)

I have another question and can't find what I'm looking for.
Drop me a line! I love to hear from readers and I promise to try my best to get back to you in a reasonable amount of time. Twitter is another good way to ask me for quick recommendations.