I grew up between Clearwater, Florida and Hopewell, Pa. With a name like Hopewell, one can imagine that this is your typical average American small town. I always had a passion for cooking. When I was a teenager, my mother would pay me to “cater” a brunch once a year for her and her friends. I would wake up at the early morning hours to start cooking and I truly enjoyed it. Growing up in Hopewell, I was lucky to be close to my family, my Italian family. Cooking was just something that everyone did. My grandmother would make sauce every week. My granddad would pull fresh vegetables from the garden to make salad. For family reunions, all the food was made by members of the family. Food brought everyone together.
From there, I moved to Miami Shores to go to college. Living in the dorm, one loses a passion for cooking and gains interest in microwavable foods. Ramon Noodles Every Day! Fast forward to post college – first apartment and real job. I started to slowly regain my love of cooking. I enjoyed cooking for roommates, friends, and those memorable get togethers. Sometimes cooking goes right and sometimes cooking goes wrong. I still remember my first attempt at hummus. Oh man was it bad (and non-salvageable)! But that’s what I love about cooking, it’s a tiny experiment in your kitchen. I stayed in Florida for about 8 years after graduating college. I mostly worked jobs that required me to be in and out of a car frequently, which mainly means Taco Bell, or T-Bizzle, and any other option with a drive-thru. Therefore, I wasn’t living the healthiest of lifestyles. Therefore, I decided to go vegan. I had done some research on the different products and their effect on my system. As well as, I tried to educate myself on the impact to the environment and of course animals. It is through this transition, that I found my passion for cooking again.
I recently moved to a small suburb outside of San Francisco. One of the great things about this area is that there are more vegan options when dining out. I don’t have to feel like a crazy person asking “Does it have butter?”, “Is there milk in that?”, “Do you add bacon grease to your pizza crust?” and so on and so on… However, it also gives me more access to farmers markets and fresh produce which keep me cooking! Originally, when I started a blog (which happened to be on blogger.com) the idea behind it was really for me and my passion. The original blog’s name was “My Own Vegan Creations”, but recently in visiting Off the Grid (with a friend) I was revisiting a thought of mine to have a food truck. We got to talking about what I would cook and we came up with the name Top Secret V. This was based on the fact that I would be a 100% vegan food truck, without advertising that and the truck would have something for everyone. Therefore, they would be secretly eating delicious vegan food. Well, there’s no Food Truck in the works… just yet. But with this blog, my hope it to make some great food that all types of “eaters” will love and share my passion for cooking with others.