While most of us were content to set up a lemonade stand, Elizabeth Howes preferred to put together a stand of homemade gourmet chocolates and the season's best freshly picked berries from the backyard. Clearly, this was a sign of good things to come.
Elizabeth found her passion for cooking at a very early age. She was raised in a family full of inspired cooks and entrepreneurs, so at family get-togethers meal prep was the event (although eating was a lot of fun, too). And "prep" could mean accompanying her father down to the pier in Boston to buy fresh lobsters for the big family lobster boils, quietly fishing with her grandfather for the catch of the day, or driving with the family out to the rural Southern California farms to pick out fresh, organic produce. Her bi-coastal upbringing proved to be very influential. It inspired her appreciation for high-quality food, exposed her to a wide variety of regional cuisines and taught her the importance of eating locally.
With years of study and hands-on experience in various culinary styles, Elizabeth began focusing her efforts on the kinds of foods that were incredibly pleasing in their simplicity – the kinds of foods she knew and loved. After college, she moved to San Francisco. With its abundance of farmers' markets and world-class cuisine, Elizabeth knew what she wanted to do next. The little girl who first learned to cook at the elbow of her family members took her entrepreneurial savvy and started her own private chef and boutique catering company in 2001.
Channeling her energies towards a career that she loved proved to be the right choice: in 2006, Elizabeth was selected as one of eight finalists (out of almost 10,000 auditions) to participate in the Food Network's The Next Food Network Star – an experience she describes as simply unforgettable.
When Elizabeth is not in the kitchen you'll find her immersed in new and interesting cookbooks, studying the latest in diet and nutrition or behind the lens of a camera. She also enjoys hiking in the Marin Headlands, practicing Pilates and traveling the globe. Of course, she savors eating out with good friends and family – especially when someone else does the cleaning.