The Nomad Chef shares some of the most exquisite recipes I gathered on a culinary journey that lasted over 30 years as I traveled and lived in Europe, Africa, and the United States. But, The Nomad Chef is much more than just a collection of recipes. It is equally a chronicle, telling the stories of those who prepared for us these marvelous dishes and the settings where we served or were served them. It is a record and tribute to those who have woven their colorful stories as threads into my fabric – recipes from real people, enjoying real food, in real places. From Idaho to Cameroon, from Italy to South Africa, I found many talented cooks and their kitchens, from professionals such as Peter in Athens (perhaps the best chef I encountered anywhere), to wonderful cooks, bakers, and chefs from all walks of life, such as Kaija in Finland, who from a penniless young teenager living on her own meager means, became a versatile home economics teacher and a most refined cook. Just like good cooking should always be, The Nomad Chef is fun, light, and entertaining. Warmth, thought and love have gone into each of them and their stories..
I once had a home in Africa - and in London, Rome, Athens, and Helsinki, Boston, the Rocky Mountains, and Washington, DC. My husband was an American diplomat. As he served in foreign capitals, I explored one of my happiest hobbies: cooking. At my table sat generals, archbishops, movie stars, university presidents, ambassadors, congressmen, parliamentarians, trade union bosses, and business executives – and a growing family and friends. I eventually employed professional chefs, but for years, I was the cook and baker. My journey empowered me with the joy of one of my favorite places, my kitchen. The daughter of Finnish refugees displaced by the Russians at the end of World War II, I come from a tradition of baking, cooking, parties, and friends. My family lost everything, but no matter how impoverished, they still enjoyed each moment with friends. Even a simple meal was a feast. That’s why I love to cook. It is not only my hobby, but my identity and purpose, my life.