Ashlee Aldridge is an aspiring foodie, and has been lucky enough to live in three, great food-centric cities thus far. Growing up in Norfolk, VA, she was raised on all things seafood and it wasn’t until she moved to Charlottesville, VA, for college that her taste buds quickly evolved to foods other than fish in the sea. She now resides in Washington, DC, and enjoys supporting the local restaurants and farmers markets that make this city great. An Epidemiologist by day, in her free time Ashlee enjoys playing hostess with the mostess for her husband, friends and family and attempting to check off her never-ending restaurant list she keeps on her iPhone.
Christina Smith enjoys eating home cooked food and breaking bread with others! A kettlebell instructor, movement coach and nutritional life coach Christina is passionate about eating local and sharing, educating and empowering others to shop and prepare wholesome food. In her spare time she enjoys reading, writing, drawing and hiking. The geek in her loves studying human physiology and how food converts into energy and affects human health and performance.
Diana Clemmons has fond memories of her Abuela cooking daily meals during her childhood in Spain where all family gatherings revolved around southwestern Spanish cuisine. As a military officer she travelled to five continents and broadened her Mediterranean palate with multi-cultural recipes; Asian being her favorite. In fact, when she retires in 15 years, her dream is to spend six months traveling on a cruise around the world to gain a greater experience of these cultures. Her interest in healthy cooking brings her back to her roots with fresh, carefully selected ingredients, and meals made with love. On any given day, Diana loves a cup of Nespresso, 70’s yacht rock music, line dancing, karaoke singing, lots of movies, hand crafts and a glass of Apothic red wine with her friends.
Kari Dalane fell in love with food during her college years in Vermont, a local food mecca. She has moved around quite a few times since then and discovered many different world cuisines. Her favorite location was Seoul where she developed a fondness for kimchi and makgeolli. Kari is currently in a PhD program in Public Administration and Policy at American University where she is studying education policy. Kari is an ex-librarian and loves few things more than a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) and a good book.
Katy Bidwell is a Maine transplant who manages professional development programs for a public health non-profit. She has recently taken on the challenge of learning how to cook like her grandmother by mastering French-Canadian cuisine. Katy enjoys conducting kitchen experiments for her monthly cookbook club and gardening with the help of her dachshund-terrier.
Kellie D’Amico grew up in Allentown, PA and studied International Media at Penn State. Growing up in an Italian-American family, food has always been a huge part of her culture. She was raised on garden-grown tomato sauce (gravy) and Sunday night pasta dinners. She spends her days daydreaming about what recipe she’ll conquer next, and spends her nights trying out restaurants in DC with her friends. Kellie loves sharing her recipes and passion for cooking with friends and family. She can usually be found listening to a true-crime podcast, enjoying a glass of red wine, and shoe shopping.
Kerry Kinirons describes herself as a runner, amateur baker, shoe lover, and wine enthusiast (did someone say champagne?). By day, she directs a congressional subcommittee. In her spare time, you can find her testing new cake recipes on her favorite Guinea pigs – her friends and colleagues.
Ambreen Ali grew up on a staple of Pakistani and North Indian meals, including biryani, meat curries, daal and homemade roti. But even in elementary school, she remembers jotting down recipes from magazines and practicing her hand at homemade dumplings, roasted chicken, seven-layer dips, blueberry muffins and a variety of desserts. Her California upbringing exposed her to the variety of food that our country is so lucky to have, and she grew up with a love for cooking. She worked as a barista during college, apprenticed at JSC when she lived in DC and assisted with chef-led cooking classes at The Pantry in Seattle. She now lives in Maplewood, NJ.
Ashley Berrang enjoys exploring new foods – either in her own kitchen, at one of the many terrific restaurants in DC or as part of her travels throughout the U.S. and abroad – and spends many weekend mornings at the farmer’s market. By day, she runs the communications team at a bipartisan think tank in Washington. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ashley enjoys using fresh, local ingredients in her dishes. She is passionate about health and a devoted runner who has experienced the benefits of good food firsthand.
Kelly Hart loves creating opportunities for people to gather together over real food and good conversation. She is a true believer in the dying art of a proper, late-night party, live music, candlelight, fresh flowers and inventive reasons to celebrate (full moons are her favorite). A U.S. diplomat recently returned from Mexico, Kelly is thrilled to be back in D.C. and enjoys coffee and a morning stroll through the Cathedral garden on her way to the famers market or local yoga studio. Upon completing Italian language training, Kelly will serve her next tour with the State Department in Italy where she is delighted to continue her culinary journey in bella Napoli!
Kelsey MacDonald is a DC native who works in litigation consulting and is addicted to Harry Potter and Asian food. If she could invite three people to lunch they would be J.K. Rowling, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ina Garten but for now she will have to settle for watching Ina on the Food Network every day at lunch. Kelsey took her first cooking class at the age of 12 (at Just Simply… Cuisine!) and has since loved trying her hand at new kitchen skills and recipes!