This is the part where I’m supposed to write charmingly about my life. It makes me squirm because as Ron Swanson says in Parks and Rec, “I never want anyone to know anything about me at any time.” So here’s what I’m willing to tell you:
I’ve been a party planner throughout my career, working for think tanks, political campaigns, private individuals and companies — sometimes full-time and sometimes from my home with a baby hanging over my shoulder. In 2004, I worked in the George W. Bush administration, where I found Laura and George W. Bush to be grateful and kind bosses — and gracious hosts. In 2018 I wrote a book called “Treating People Well” with my friend and former Obama social secretary, Jeremy Bernard, about our experiences in the White House and the things we learned about treating others with civility — but this blog isn’t about politics. It’s about the pleasures of cooking and entertaining.
One thing I learned at the White House is that people love American food and today’s constantly-expanding culinary repertoire, but not everyone has time to live on the cutting edge of American cuisine. This site is a good place to surf cooking trends without taking on complicated or overly-exotic recipes. Occasionally I write about manners because they’re the thin veneer of civilization that separate us from the beasts. It’s not about knowing which fork to use, but remembering to treat each other with kindness and respect — especially in the anonymous abyss of the internet.
I also run a foundation called Creatures Great and Small, a non-profit organization devoted to passing federal anti-animal cruelty legislation and educating people about the state of animal welfare in the US. All living creatures deserve to be treated humanely. Animals are powerless, relying solely on humans for their wellbeing, and we have a moral obligation to look after them.