In an example of perfect timing, I moved to Austin at the beginning of 1978, just before the punk/new wave scene caught fire. Betsey Johnson and Norma Kamali were my style avatars and everyone I knew was either in a band or somehow involved in that community. We were all busily reinventing music, art, fashion and the very idea of cool. My boyfriend (now husband) Jesse Sublett had Austin’s first punk band, the Skunks. Bands like Blondie, the Clash, Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe were always dropping in to jam with the Skunks or borrow a guitar or something. We were young, fearless and very opinionated.

That was an exciting time, but so is the present. I still have that same restless appetite for finding new, beautiful, fascinating things – through cooking, travel, shopping, art, music and entertaining family and friends.

Besides Austin, I’ve lived in Panama, Germany, Iceland, California, Arizona, London, New York City, San Antonio, Nevada and my favorite city in the USA, Los Angeles. I’ve always loved to travel and discover new things. Maybe that’s the influence from my family. Since my dad was in the air force, we moved somewhere new every three years. My mother was a first-generation Italian immigrant, the quintessential post-war homemaker who created magic in the kitchen and blazed a trail through every fashionable department store.

Austin has changed a lot and grown a lot since I first came here, but the bigger it gets, the more crazy energy it has, and it pleases me to share with other people the things that make it a world-class place to live and visit.