Lisa van Sand, chef

There’s something I’ve always loved about cooking for people. I hosted my first dinner party when I was just 15 years old, choosing the recipes from my favorite magazine.

Making people happy through food has always brought me joy… the aroma of a home-cooked meal and the look that comes over someone’s face when they take their first bite. That perfect bite has the power to melt everything else away.

While I grew up in the city of Brooklyn, I’m a small town girl at heart. I went to Grinnell College in the cornfields of Iowa and fell in love with the laid back pace of the day. Now I live in a small city which suits me just fine!

Cooking with simple ingredients, making each cake with a bowl a whisk and some heat is doing it “old school” in my opinion… there’s no need for high-end equipment to make really good food, but I do, still love my toys. I am a geek (though a kitchen – geek) at heart.

I have a collection of over 200 cookbooks and they are a continued source of ideas and inspiration. The original recipe for this cake came from a “local” cookbook when I was living in the midwest. It became my go-to potluck dish.  Everyone loves cake, right?  It was a “difficult” recipe to master and considered “advanced” in the cookbook it came from, but over the decades that I’ve been making it, I’ve crafted it to be less intimidating, more accessible and honestly, more delicious.

I have been a professional cook since 1991 – catering for high-end events and exclusive retreats. I bring these years of experience to every one of my creations.

Beyond the kitchen, I live close to the ocean with my husband and our two dogs. The highlight of our week is entertaining and gathering for good conversation, music and connection. I can be regularly found bringing an OMG cake to one of our many community potlucks.