My inspiration was my mom. She's a great cook and she still cooks and we still banter back and forth about cooking. Growing up in a mostly Portuguese community food was important and the family table was extremely important. At a very young age I understood that.
I was born and raised in the high desert of Nevada in a tiny town called Searchlight. My dad was a hard rock miner. My mom took in wash. I grew up around people of strong values - even if they rarely talked about them.