Sophia Markoulakis

Like in other Greek families, I grew up in a household where the food that was served had a lineage, a traceable past filled with a blend of exotic ingredients, stories of eccentric relatives, and unfortunate events. Yes, Greek tragedy is alive and well in most modern Greek families, even ours, but, in true Greek style, the tragedies and triumphs of life are celebrated with equal amounts of fervor and enthusiasm.

I was lucky enough to learn how to cook at an age when mistakes could be made with the comforts of family close by, guiding and inspiring me to ultimately choose a path for which I am so thankful. I felt at peace studying English Literature and Classical Civilizations at UC Berkeley, even if some of it was beyond me. The quest to learn was just as exhilarating as the moments when it actually all made sense. Furthering my education at the California Culinary Academy confirmed my interest in food and how it too can tell a story like the greatest literary giants.

Between developing neighborhood grocery stores in the San Francisco Bay Area and writing for the San Francisco Chronicle and contracting at Sunset Publishing, I have managed to keep myself interested and busy with food. Working on Safeway publications for five years while also developing and co-owning a retail food store gave me a unique perspective to promote what was best for the client and the consumer. Concurrently, writing weekly gardening articles for the San Francisco Chronicle helped me understand the evolution of a particular food item or plant.

I now find myself in a world that involves socializing without contact, writing and constructing sentences that optimize results, and engaging cooks with technology that reaches all corners of the world. Spreading messages about the people and stories that have a positive impact on all of us keeps me engaged and optimistic, regardless of how the message is spread.

When not writing or cooking, my husband, daughter, son, family and friends fill my life with joy and meaning.