About {old version}

Hi! I’m Kristy Bernardo, personal chef and serious food lover. My food blogging career began as a new mom who didn’t have a clue how to use a chef’s knife.

I grew up in central Wisconsin but moved to Orange County, California when I was twenty.  I was in OC for seventeen years and absolutely loved it.  I married Alan, img25 and within a few years we’d relocated to the East Coast.  We’re in Northern Virginia now and I am very happy to be here!

Our first child was born in August ’04, followed by the second in July ’06…

nana and the girls

nana and the girls

…two beautiful girls that we love with all our heart!

Before we had kids, I was the VP of Human Resources for a large restaurant chain based in Orange County.  I resigned when I was 7 months pregnant with our first child and have never looked back.  This did, however, mean a major lifestyle change that took some getting used to.

The biggest change, aside from the obvious no-longer-having-a-career-thing (which didn’t bother me in the least), was the fact that our DINK lifestyle (double income no kids) was now a SIWK lifestyle (you can figure that one out, I’m sure).  Gone was my income, which meant no more eating out.  No, really…not. at. all.  EVER.  And I can’t begin to tell you what angst this caused me.

You see, prior to this we ate out for every meal.  This is no exaggeration when I say every meal.  Breakfast, eat out.  Lunch, eat out.  And dinner?  You guessed it.  We ate out.  And we ate at good restaurants, too.  Our refrigerator looked like a single bachelor lived there, complete with ketchup bottle and the token can of beer.  We were DINKS, to be sure.

I had to come to terms with the fact that my life as I knew it was over.  I was excited about this new life, but it was foreign to me and I had absolutely no idea how to go about it.  I had grown up with a wonderful mom who also happened to be a wonderful cook, and although I had tried my hand at baking cookies as a kid, I’d always left the cooking to her (and frankly had never been too interested in it).  And now I was mourning the delicious food that I was sure was gone forever.  I laughed out loud when I thought about what I might attempt to cook.  That’s when it hit me…

I was going to have to teach myself to make the same kind of food I craved and loved.

As soon as I came to this realization, I knew what I had to do.  So…out came the cookbooks, the internet, and of course…Food TV.  Rachael Ray was my hero, as was Paula Deen, Bobby Flay and Ina Garten.  I watched, obsessed, determined to learn from them.  And I did.  And I also made plenty of phone calls to Mom when things weren’t turning out quite right and I needed immediate advice on what to do (and yes, this happened a lot)!

I don’t watch Food TV very often anymore (with the exception of Top Chef, of course) but I’m still quite obsessive about searching the internet and scouring cooking magazines for inspiration.  I love to read and continuously learn about cooking; the science behind it fascinates me.  But what I really love is creating an easy, fun recipe that turns out amazing results and makes me look like a chef and not the cook that I am.  And although we can afford to eat at nice restaurants again, I’ve found that cooking a nice meal for my family – and for friends – is so much fun that I often prefer to stay home.

So that’s how my cooking adventures began, and ultimately how I came to have a food blog.  It’s a new project that just launched in February ’09, and I hope you’ll stick around and help it become a success.  You’ll find all types of recipes here, from healthy gourmet to fast and easy.  Drop me a line if there’s something in particular you’d like to see or if you just want to say hello; one of my favorite things about writing this blog is checking out the comments and getting emails from readers.  You can either sign the guestbook or send me an email at kristy[at]thewickednoodle[dot]com.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

UPDATE, October 2010

Well, it’s been a year and a half since I started blogging, and it’s been a great ride. As I type this, I’m in Hyde Park, NY, about to embark on a culinary Boot Camp at the Culinary Institute of America. Over the past year and a half, I’ve been paid to host dinner parties at my home and travel throughout the US to participate in foodie and blogger events. I’ve won national cooking contests and I have a successful business as a personal chef. And in December 2010 I’ll be filming five webisodes as a guest judge for a highly publicized cooking contest in Los Angeles, alongside two celebrity chefs. It’s been a dream, and I’m thrilled to be living it!

Thanks to everyone for even bothering to read my little blog. I appreciate each and every visit, comment and word of support! Cheers!

{to find out what I’m doing now, head over to the updated version of this page}