Photography by Chichi Ubina
Tell us about yourself and your family.
I am the survivor of a family that moved every two years. I went to several schools and three high schools before attending UCLA where I finally discovered geographic stability away from my parents. My father was in international finance so we hopped around Europe and the Middle East until we returned to the States and then continued our peripatetic journey through life. I was born in San Francisco and do consider myself a Californian, although I must admit I am comfortable almost anywhere in the world where there are interesting people, fascinating culture and extraordinary cuisine. My father’s family hails from Texas with a French background and my mother is Mexican. I like to say I’m Tex/Mex with a side of international savoir faire. I moved to Connecticut 2 years ago and have fallen madly in love with the Yankee lifestyle.
What do you do?
I am the owner and chef of Secret Ingredients, a boutique catering company which specializes in – you guessed it – international cuisine. I am also a writer who writes about food and also pens screenplays as part of my double identity.
Why did you start your business?
I started Secret Ingredients in August of 2009 after I left my last Hollywood executive position in order to write. My personality isn’t entirely cut out for the insulated, internal life of a writer 24/7 so I explored my passion for food and entertaining on a commercial level. Lucky for me, it worked out.
I take a very personal approach. I treat every client individually so we design menus together and not from a finite list of dishes, which is totally limiting. There’s practically nothing I cannot cook so if someone is interested in a Dutch Indonesian Rijsttafel, a Lebanese Mezze or a good old American Barbecue I will deliver a meal that is authentic and 100% delicious. Also, since I have always been an avid entertainer and hostess, clients also get a consummate event planner when they hire me.
What led you to getting a Galaxy phone?
I held on to my Blackberry forever. I am compulsive email writer and I didn’t believe any of the keyboards on other phones would allow me to write as efficiently or with the same dexterity. I finally caved and got an iPhone and an iPad. I discovered I am not an i-person. Let’s leave it at that. But then I bought a Samsung tablet. And then a laptop. And finally took the plunge and bought the GS6 after testing the keyboard which pulses like a real keyboard and allows me to truly feel the experience of typing. This way I know I’ve nailed my letters and can type like a speed demon as a result. That was just the beginning. Don’t even get me started on the camera, which for my line of work is like having a professional photographer in my pocket at all times.
Which one do you have?
I have the GS6.
I’m working on everyone I know owning it.
What role does your Galaxy play at work?
It’s my personal assistant, my professional photographer, my research assistant and my monitor when I’m reading recipes in the kitchen. Did I mention how much I love it?
What are your 3 favorite features of your Galaxy?
It’s super fast. The keyboard is interactive. But the camera is by far the most sophisticated and gorgeous feature on the phone. Other than that, it’s intuitive and easy to use so the learning curve wasn’t steep.
What are your top 3 favorite apps?
Samsung SideSync, which allows me to share the screen and data between my laptop and mobile devices. Samsung Galaxy Help. Microsoft Office Mobile.
What do you think is the best invention (so far) in your lifetime? As superficial as it sounds, I am beholden to the Internet. My business would never have achieved the success it has without the ability to promote my company and me. And I wouldn’t have access to the latest cooking trends, recipes, global ideas and exciting news that are just a click away each and every day.