I am a Portland, Oregon–based freelance writer and the editor of the website Eater Portland, which covers food news throughout the city. My interest in food, community, and sustainability has its roots in the tiny fishing village (and nationally recognized dead-end town) of Milbridge, Maine, where I was born. My parents had settled there as part of the back-to-the-land movement; my dad was a wooden-boat builder—he'd cut down trees, use horses to drag them out of the woods, and saw and plane them into boards to build boats. We produced nearly all of our own food.
As a lifestyle journalist focused on food and culinary travel, I have eaten my way through Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa, and the Netherlands. I’ve interviewed a Slovenian winemaker in his underground wine cellar at four in the morning; taken a riverboat cruise through the Netherlands; bottled farmhouse wine at an agriturismo in Abruzzo; ziplined over the coffee highlands of Panama; learned to make fondue in Switzerland; hunted for truffles in Italy, Croatia, and Oregon; and gone fishing for geoduck with members of the Suquamish tribe in Washington's Puget Sound.
The poet Theodore Enslin played a formative role in my development as a writer. Growing up, I did yard work for him, and he would drop insights into the craft of writing (I shared some of them in my TEDx talk). Our friendship lasted nearly two decades, including a ten-year written correspondence.
I started out as a journalist in San Francisco, where I wrote about tattoos for Skin & Ink and Total Tattoo, interviewed bands for Your Music Magazine, and did both concert and tattoo photography. At present, I focus primarily on food and travel in the Pacific Northwest, from Alaska to Oregon to Montana.
From 2008 to 2010, I lived off and on in Lecce, Italy. While there, I wrote for Europe Up Close, one of the leading travel blogs at the time. My coverage focused on regional culinary guides, with a specialization in wine-tasting itineraries. I also wrote and updated travel guides to Italian cities for Northstar Travel Media, the leading business information and marketing solutions provider to the U.S. travel industry. In addition to authoring the complete travel guide Destination Naples, I updated guides to Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Portland, Seattle, and New York City.
I left Italy in 2010 and moved to Portland, Oregon, drawn by its food, wine, and abundant natural beauty. In 2011, I started writing for Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, where my assignments have ranged from riding the rails in Alaska to sipping wine in British Columbia's stunning Okanagan Valley. I have been a member of the planning board of Travel & Words, the Northwest travel writers conference, since 2012. In 2015, I became the editor and lead writer of the rapidly growing food news website Eater Portland.
In addition to writing, I provide developmental editing to help clients structure and complete their writing projects. I’ve collaborated with psychologists working on books and with graduate students writing their dissertations. As a TEDx speaker, I gave a talk titled “Words, Not Ideas: The Secret to Writing and Finishing a Book,” and I led a workshop on the topic at the Travel & Words Conference. I’ve also led workshops on other topics, including the use of social media to build your brand as a writer.