Hey guys! I’m Skyler. I’m a home cook and on-air host. I’m also a wife and a proud dog mama. I spend the majority of my time cooking and creating recipes to share with all of you, but it wasn’t always this way! I actually started my culinary journey as a restaurant reviewer and blogger, and before that, I was a curious and hungry college student. You could say I’ve had quite the “foodie”evolution.
It all started when I moved to NYC to attend NYU in 2011, and right away, I was inspired by the food scene. I was 18, from a small town, and eager to live an independent life full of food and fun. Soon after enrolling at NYU, I started this blog, which was actually called @nycdining (if you’re new here, that’s a little fun fact!) and dedicated the next 5 years to reviewing restaurants all around the city. Through that line of work, I learned from chefs, restaurateurs, agricultural experts (yes even in NYC!), line cooks, restaurant staff, sommeliers, food entrepreneurs, cheesemongers, bakers, pastry chefs, hospitality specialists and more. I started and ran my own baking business for 2 years and learned the ins and outs of restaurant work in one of the most restaurant-focused cities in the US. I sat in the NY Public Library on weekends and read culinary textbook after culinary textbook, to teach myself how to cook.
And now I’m here! My job is my joy, and it’s my mission to create recipes that are flavorful and accessible to everyone. My goal with this website is to encourage you to try new dishes and ingredients; to confidently cook on your own; and to try different culinary techniques without feeling intimidated. I am not that *~cheffy~* chef that’s going to tell you how badly you’ve f*cked up if you make a mistake. Instead, I’m here to tell you that mistakes are delicious and that you should eat that mistake because damn, it tastes great. And if you reeeally want, you can probably fix it! I want you to trust your instincts and your hungry intuition. After all, I believe cooking is half technique and half feeling. You got this!
My cooking style
Believe it or not, I got into cooking as a way to creatively express myself and to balance all of the dining out that I was doing for my job. While I spent the majority of the day tasting dishes at restaurants, I still had a desire to understand food. Restaurant blogging was like speed dating different cuisines without fully getting to know them. The experiences were phenomenal, but after a certain point, I felt that I needed to learn more. I needed to develop a deeper connection with all of the food I was tasting.
For example, I knew I loved classic Italian dishes, but I wanted to appreciate every single
part of each Italian dish from every Italian region. I wanted to understand the difference in tomatoes from certain parts of the world and how they affect a pizza pie. That, and so much more.
I was just hungry to learn, and I always am. I don’t think you can ever *fully* understand all there is to know about food, no matter what culinary education or background you have. However, I do think anyone (and I mean anyone, no matter what experience you have!) can successfully make and enjoy a home cooked meal.
So that being said, what is my cooking style?! I would say it is eclectic and restaurant inspired, with a “what’s in my fridge/what I’m craving” spin. Sometimes, I take healthy shortcuts if I can (i.e: switching vegetable oil for olive oil) and sometimes I don’t. If there’s a way to make a dish healthier and still taste amazing, then I’ll do that. If making a dish healthier will make it taste like cement, then I won’t even try. It’s that simple.
At the end of the day, I want to promote having a healthy relationship with food and being able to enjoy whatever we can get our mouths on.
Before my cooking and restaurant reviewing days… I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, in a large, loving, and food-obsessed French Canadian family. My uncle is a professional chef and restaurateur and showed me the ins and outs of the kitchen at an early age. On the other hand, my parents educated me in boxed cake mixes and microwavable dinners, while taking me out to restaurants to enjoy different dining experiences on the weekends. As a child, I began to understand everything from the low level “heat up in the microwave” food, to the high level food, such as beef Wellington and foie gras. Needless to say, I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to test and train my tastebuds as I grew up. Throughout my childhood and semi-adulthood, I took my passion into my own hands. I loved to experiment in the kitchen and I also used my competitive sports tournaments as ways to learn about food. Believe it or not, I had the opportunity to travel the world as a competitive squash player from the ages of 11-15, and I used these trips to learn about cuisine in different countries: Bermuda, New Zealand, Scotland and England to name a few. I also started collecting foreign candy, which you better believe I still do to this day.
Fast forward, I went to NYU to study broadcast journalism and communications in 2011. Being on my own for the first time in the food capital of the world was the most eye opening experience I could ever ask for. During my second year of college, I realized exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to produce videos and photos about my food experiences in the city and in my kitchen. My role models were Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, but I had yet to see a young female chef doing what they were doing. I decided that I had to make that happen for myself, and that’s where this blog began!
To be more specific, it all started in October 2012 at a restaurant in Soho, as I was solo-dining and eating black pudding waffles with foie gras butter. I started an Instagram account to document the unique meal on my plate and little did I know, that was the first tiny step in the direction of my culinary career. I have always been hungry: to learn, to eat, and to excel. The traditional way to pursue a career in food used to be: go to culinary school, intern, and go off to work on your own. But I deviated from the routine. Ever since I attended NYU, I looked at my career differently. I also developed an entrepreneurial spirit. I knew I could not afford to go to culinary school, but I could use the Internet to try and jumpstart my career for little to no money.
The following year, I launched the NYU chapter of Spoon University — a cooking and dining website for college students. In 2014, I took my interests further and studied cuisine and culture in Hong Kong, China with an NYU graduate program. Luckily, the professor
noticed my passion, and let me into the program, even though I was just 20 years old. On the side, I was interning at various media outlets such as Hearst, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, CBS and more
If you can’t tell, I love to learn by doing. So, I started to teach myself how to cook. I also began to review restaurants, where I would learn from chefs in the back of the house. I made and ate a lot of mistakes, but the outcome has been delicious. In 2014, I graduated early to save money and pursue my food blog full time. I then bought a baking and pastry textbook and decided to study baking in my home kitchen. After a year, I launched my own line of cake balls, Ballsy Bites, which I baked in a commercial kitchen on my own, hand packaged, shipped and delivered. I maintained this baking line for a year and a half (while also running my blog full time), and learned the ins and outs of the baking industry. I loved (and still love) my product, but my main dream was always to work in food television, and share my stories and experience with others. So, I took this learning experience and continued to put everything I could into my blog and food education.
Annnnnd now, seven years later, I’m here! Thanks to all of you, my blog has grown as a
resource for creative recipes and dining guides. In addition to my blog, I am a culinary expert and host on Amazon’s live streaming shows, as well as a host for INSIDER’s Festival Foodies. I’m also a recurring host for Food Network digital. I have hosted three digital shows with Food Network — Treat Yourself with Skyler, Full Dish Hustle, and Sipping with Skyler — and I’ve guest starred on two — Experimental Eats seasons one and two. And finally, I appeared on Cooking Channel’s final season of Unique Sweets, as a commentator and NYC food expert. I am so grateful that I can take my passion for food exploration and creation to the next level, and bring you along with me. And most importantly, I’m incredibly grateful for all of your support, as you’ve given me the opportunity to follow (and eat) my dreams.