Monica HutchinsonMonica Hutchinson is currently hustling to and from her home in Chicago to various parts of the country as the Traveling Sous Chef for Stephanie Izard's book promotion tour. She is also a culinary producer, food stylist, former line cook, recipe tester, recipe developer and blogger...a Macgyver of sorts for the booming Chicago food scene. Her past production work includes culinary producer for Top Chef All-Stars finale in the Bahamas, Rescue Chef on Food Network, and several food segments for the aforementioned Stephanie. Initially based out of New York, Monica has styled food for television, print and the web for several years for the likes of Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray and Fabio Viviani to name a few. As a former line cook, Monica had the opportunity to work with Chef Giuseppe Tentori, named best new Chef in 2008 by Food and Wine Magazine, and Executive Chef at Michelin star restaurant, BOKA. Recipe testing highlights include Everyday With Rachel Ray, and Silvana Nardone's Cooking with Isaiah. The blogging part? Well, finish reading and click away...

In the later part of the northern hemisphere's winter of 2010, Monica grabbed her raincoat and gumboots and set out for New Zealand to learn the ways of the organic and biodynamic farming Kiwis. During this transformational trip, she spent nights sleeping in an active wool shed, drank warm, unpasteurized milk from a cow, scrambled and ate freshly laid eggs, foraged for her dinner, picked grapes at harvest for a biodynamic winery, cooked dinner for The Ukes, and rambled about the country in the aptly nicknamed Geena Simmons wicked camper van.

Monica graduated with honors from the French Culinary Institute in New York in 2004. Prior to that, she worked for Major League Baseball as a graphic designer. She attended West Virginia University, and graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism majoring in Advertising with a double minor in English and Business. At WVU, she co-founded the snowboarding team, and competed at various events on the east coast, winning the Big Air competition at Penn State in 1997.

Monica currently lives in Chicago and is thrilled that the city has nudged its way near the top of the list of great culinary destinations. When she's not traveling you will find her in her kitchen cooking and sipping on wine with her french bulldog Taco by her side (he patiently prays for morsels of food to drop). She is passionate about food, wine, and people. She loves to travel and experience everything the world has to offer. When Monica isn't cooking, thinking about and generally obsessing over food, she spends her time on a spate of other hobbies including food photography, snowboarding, surfing, reading cookbooks and playing the guitar. She dreams of one day building a CJ7 Jeep from scratch. She is sincerely thankful that you stopped by today.