Hello, Friends! Welcome to Pure Palate! I’m Sarah, a chef, culinary producer, food stylist, wellness enthusiast, fitness addict, beauty devotee, world traveler, and artistic creator. I live on the beach in Southern California but have rugged New England mountain roots. My main squeeze is all things purely edible, but I’m forever curating my most authentic self. I never shy away from a glorious bowl of heavenly pasta or a decadent chocolate molten cake, but I devour in moderation. I always hustle harder, live passionately, brighter and bolder, and welcome life’s experiences. I’m forever a work in progress.
Food has always been my path; I have worked as a professional chef in the industry for over 17 years. I have Culinary Produced for networks such as Netflix, Food Network, BRAVO, Paramount, Amazon Prime Video, The Cooking Channel, TLC, ABC, CBS, FOX, The History Channel, and Destination America. I have culinary produced shows, “The Final Table,” “Nailed It,” “Bar Rescue,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Chef Roble & Co.”, “Best Thing I Ever Made,” “Taste in Translation,” “Frankenfood,” “The Next Great Baker,” and contributed to Food & Wine, Real Simple, HuffPost, and Mom Junction. Throughout the years, I have independently styled and produced for top print, tv, and commercials and worked with Fortune 500 brands.
I received my BA from The University of California, Santa Barbara, in Film Studies and then completed my culinary degree at The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. After graduation, I became an intern at Food Network in NYC, then landed a job working “behind the line” at Lupa, a famous Mario Batali Osteria, for two years. After taking a hiatus from the US, I spread my wings, expanded my knowledge base, and led culinary tours throughout Europe for one year. I then returned to the US and have been a Culinary Producer and Senior Food Stylist for the past 17-plus years.
My parents were responsible for “harnessing my chi” well before I knew what my chi would become. They are genuine ‘green thumbs’ who take serious pride in our 20-acre piece of NH-hilled heaven. They curated “Camp Blair” by putting in a tennis court, making a man-made swimming pond with a floating dock, erecting an octagonal treehouse, and cultivating an immaculately groomed vegetable garden lined with fruit trees and berries. Our property was my playground. I can still remember swimming to the dock and lying there out of breath with the sun hitting my face and the breeze sweeping over my body and thinking, “there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” To this day, whether I’m in the country or a bustling city, I try to be present, happy, and grateful. (However, I’m not going to lie; sometimes, it’s hard to reign in all my energy. I’m constantly thinking about my next meal, run, swim, and adventure. I’ll continue to work on it:)
Outdoor exploration and activity have always been, and will always be, my jam! In my youth, I was tackling rigorous hikes in the Presidential peaks, kayaking through rapids, swimming in lakes and rivers, biking through quaint countrysides, nordic skiing in our backyard, and snowboarding at local resorts. I’ve always been a STRONG “jack of all trades” athlete, but a SUPER-PRO master of none. However, you can always count on me giving more than 100%, being wickedly fearless!! In the past couple of years, I’ve added surfing and SUPing to my athletic list (after several month-long surf expeditions through Costa Rica and Nicaragua) and now proficiently “ride the stoke” at my home break in Manhattan Beach. I’m constantly pushing myself to run longer, swim harder, and hike faster, even in blizzards, wind, ice, and snow (remember the fearless part above). I thrive and live for a challenge! I forever hear my dad’s famous saying, “Hey, anyone can stay home and watch tv.”
I had no idea my 7th-grade science fair project would forecast my passion for the beauty sphere. “Your Skin in the Sun” was a huge hit, as I made an entire product line of organic and pure creams, tinctures, and toners (fitted with premium watercolor packaging…I might add). I was always concocting facemasks and also had a substantial lotion collection. Honestly, I haven’t changed a bit. You can still find me experimenting, formulating my lines, researching, and nurturing my skin to promote my best and most confident self. I should really resurrect that 7th-grade product line; Pure Palate Beauty is coming to you in the future!
My wanderlust started young and has carried me well into adulthood. I remember our annual visits to a remote fishing village in Jamaica. I can still smell the fried plantain and johnnycakes with guava jelly we used to make for breakfast. We perched our tent above sand dunes, lakes, and oceans for many years. As a sophomore at The University of Santa Barbara, I went on Semester at Sea. We circumnavigated the globe, visiting ten countries. I remember entering a Japanese Ryokan and tasting my first pot of Sukiyaki while sitting crossed-legged on the floor in my white kimono and slippers. Backpacking through Europe two years later, I was diving into massive pans of Paella in Spain, eating eclairs and croissants throughout the neighborhoods in Paris, and reveling in Oktoberfest in Munich with beers and brats. At 25, I led culinary tours through Europe for one year. I set up a cook tent on the Black Sea in Bulgaria and breakdanced for my passengers until they finished all my pasta. We had Greek Olympics on the island of Corfu while sipping ouzo in white togas on the sand. As an adult, I’ve romped around South East Asia, sipping on coconuts and sailing around Thai islands on a Long Tail Boat. A girlfriend and I drove a camper van through Iceland’s lush green hillsides and crystal glaciers as we soaked in hot springs and snacked on cured moose meat. I clearly live for adventure!
I took watercolor workshops with an artist friend when I was young and have been driven to create ever since. I remember sitting in a Vermont field trying to capture the autumnal hues; ombre leaves transitioning from gold to amber and into crimson and carmine. I have experimented with different artistic mediums throughout the years. I’ve taught myself layering techniques and bold brushstrokes of oils and acrylics, layered textiles, and was a mighty collager:) I’ve been fortunate enough to take these artistic conceptions and shape them into a career as a Food Stylist and Culinary Producer. For every food photoshoot, magazine spread, or food television show I produce, I make a vision board and collect my linens, plates, props, and ingredients to construct one total vision. I love assessing colors, textures, and shapes like globs of paint bleeding together on a palette. What colors can I combine? How will they complement each other? Which ingredients do I want to pop? My watercolor infatuation will forever be sweeping through my mind. Check out my paintings that sweep through these pages.
My adult years have been romping and munching my way through the island of Manhattan and southern California, saving locales and hot spots like a dotted treasure map. I have a picture of myself snacking on a broccoli floret at eight months. At nine, I remember adding “zhuzh” to my top ramen with spoonfuls of toasted sesame oil and silky strands of the beaten egg. Pita pizzas with assorted toppings (like artichoke hearts and red onion) were my main-stay after-school snack. In college, I devoured homemade seaweed salad while my roommates ordered Dominos and brownies. More times than I should admit, I found myself fastidiously researching the locations of the ultimate breakfast burritos. My list became more expansive as I crossed the country doing food production gigs. Let me know if you want to join me in a Little Tokyo dumpling dive, Koreatown Bibimbap bop, or East LA taco trek??… I’m hungry for it all! I’m forever eating, cooking, thinking, walking, talking, dreaming, and living food!
After living in NYC for over a decade, it was time for me to spread my wings and move to the sunny Pacific shores of Manhattan Beach. Here in Cali, I eat a large salad in a giant bowl every day. I have my most incredible sense of clarity when I’m outside with the sun on my freckled face and a fresh breeze in the air. I exercise EVERY day and am my best self when I go to bed tired. My family calls me Goldie because of my “teeny-tiny tans,” I have about seven sunscreens and moisturizers on constant rotation. I crave ethnic food and feel like 80 percent of my thoughts revolve around dumplings and noodles and, more specifically, those times I ate them throughout Asia. I hardly wear black and always want to add a splash of color wherever I go. This is me; this is Pure Palate.
Working with Pure Palate is partnering with a true culinary powerhouse. Sarah has the training, passion, drive, knowledge in her field, the eye for current trends, and the creativity to make any project a grand success.