About Maria

About-Maria

Food has always been a passion of mine beginning with hot summers with my grandmother baking Lebanese bread and fresh baklava, peering over her countertop, fearlessly tasting fresh, lemon-drenched raw lamb, seasoned with herbs from her fingertips.

Today, I love combining dynamic international flavors with healthy proteins and vegetables to create vibrant, nutrient-dense dishes, sourced from local, organic, and seasonal foods.

Prior to my current position as the Executive Chef at the Highland City Club in Boulder, CO, I was hired as the Chef and Consultant to open Harvest Restaurant in Madrid, Spain in 2008, Anjou in Boulder in 2007, and Café Zesta in Boulder in 2008.

In 2010, after cooking professionally for over 5 years, I was diagnosed with two major autoimmune conditions as well as  insulin resistance. This diagnosis was a huge turning point in my life: I had to immediately and drastically change my relationship with food.  Although I was already practicing an organic, gluten-free and dairy free diet, I knew I had to get creative to sustain a complete protein, vegetable, and healthy fat based diet that would be delicious, exciting, and fulfilling.

It didn’t take long for this new way of eating to transform not only my health and well-being, but also that of my loved ones and customers.

 

By removing sugars and other toxic foods from my diet and returning to protein and vegetable-driven meals, I found more balance, clarity, and energy in my system: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Since 2006, I have continuously chosen organic products in my restaurants and culinary projects, which has challenged me to experiment with ways to reduce food cost. I also understand the importance of time management in the kitchen. Therefore, you will find that  simplicity and affordability are built into the core of all of my recipes.

Nowadays, my life is rich and full,  between completing my upcoming cookbook, Heartful Kitchen, my full-time position as Executive Chef at the Highland City Club and teaching Soul Sweat dance. Balancing these aspects of my life inspires me to create simple, nutritious, and delicious dishes that fit my diet needs and their tastes with limited time.

We are what we eat. I believe natural food helps ground us and build our relationship with the good, sweet earth. I invite you to join me on this journey! Experiment with the recipes I offer on the website. I will open your palate with exquisite flavor combinations, while supporting you to simplify and nourish your life. I invite you to stay connected with me for delicious recipes and updates on my upcoming cookbook, Heartful Kitchen: A Cookbook for Every Body.