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.