I am a Tokyo-based James Beard Award winner, photographer, author, designer, judge, and dining experience consultant specializing in travel and food culture. I have explored over ninety countries, and have lived – on my own – in seven.
Originally from Manhattan, I have lived in Italy, France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Spain, and Korea, in addition to Japan. Despite feeling attached to each for different reasons, it is difficult to choose just one country where I would plan to stay put for the rest of my life.
Many people travel, but few pick up and move to multiple countries by themselves, leaving everything behind. Over the years I have been called “brave”, “fearless”, “adventurous”, "unconventional” and even “unsettled”, and realize that my lifestyle is an uncommon one, especially as a solo woman. I have never moved abroad because of a boyfriend or husband, although this is often peoples' assumption. Each decision to move was mine and mine alone. My aspirations do not align with a traditional lifestyle; I have rejected convention and routine in order to follow my desire to learn about the world on a global scale. The best way to achieve this is to live in the countries that intrigue me, immersing myself in culture, history, and art, often through food. In doing so I find more meaning in my own life in turn. I find wonder.
For the last four years, Tokyo has been my home.
After visiting for the first time 19 years ago, I vowed to live here one day. Why? Simply because I was enticed by the aesthetics, design, art and architecture, and of course Japanese cuisine. Somehow it all felt simultaneously familiar, yet exciting. Although I went on to live in other countries first, the pull to move here was unmistakably powerful and profound. I ignored those who declared that I was ridiculous to move across the world again, to a country where I didn't speak the language and knew no one.
My solo, book, Tokyo New Wave: 31 Chefs Defining Japan’s Next Generation (Ten Speed Press / Penguin Random House), released in March 2018, was an idea that I developed after living here a year. Essentially my love letter to Tokyo and its distinct philosophy and approach to gastronomy, this 304 page book includes 435 of my James Beard Award winning photographs, and 31 of my essays and interviews. I work regularly with Tokyo's many influential and respected chefs, and have developed relationships on a personal level, allowing me a more profound understanding of Japan. Now, as I work on my next Japanese food culture book, to be released in 2020 by Assouline, I continue to learn. Listen to my recent interview on the podcast Japan Eats.
My new book about Japanese food culture will be released in May, 2020!
I am Starwood Hotel Group’s first Luxury Collection Global Explorer, my photographs, journal entries and audio narrations describing my travels on six continents are featured in the Luxury Collection Destination Guides (Assouline). I am a tastemaker in Hotel Stories (Assouline), a travel book which showcases unique luxury properties around the world, and the photographer and stylist of L'Aperitivo (Rizzoli), shot entirely on location throughout Italy. I am also the featured photographer of the book Bvlgari Il Ristorante (Assouline).
In 2007 I received the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for Travel Photography for my work in Argentina for Departures Magazine, one of my favorite assignments. I have photographed campaigns and projects for such companies as Cathay Pacific Airlines and Four Seasons Hotels, and magazines such as Travel + Leisure, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest and Departures. Four Magazine has profiled me and my culinary work, and Photo District News featured me as one of the year's best cookbook photographers in PDN's Food Issue for 2017. I have written articles for Saveur, including one about the last day of service at the venerable Hotel Okura in Tokyo before its controversial pre-Olympics closure.
I became a professional photographer by chance (quite a story which I can share with you when we meet), and turned my hobby into my career. PDN (Photo District News) named me one of "30 Photographers to Watch” in 2004. Before this, I had been working in fashion and film public relations for Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Miramax Films. For more resumé details, or interview requests, please email us.
If you would like to purchase stock photographs, please click here.
Starwood Hotels Luxury Collection Global Explorer
St. Regis Hotels
Cathay Pacific Airlines
Four Seasons Hotels
The Rittenhouse Hotel
Travel + Leisure
Wall Street Journal Magazine
Food + Wine
“O” The Oprah Magazine
Four Seasons Magazine
Conde Nast Traveller
BA High Life
Penguin Random House