My name is Ingrid Beer, and I am a Los Angeles-based personal chef and family gal. I grew up an only child in the Midwestern, small town of Lake Orion, Michigan, to two immigrant parents from the country formerly known as Czechoslovakia, now the Slovak Republic. Our home was one of utter love, passion and coziness. From the time I can remember much of anything, I felt the love and joy that my parents had, not only for the opportunity to finally be parents after 11 long years of waiting, but for one another and the life that they were in the process of creating together.
I remember our home always being filled with the aromas of home cooking, as dining out in restaurants, except on special occasions, was a rare treat. Eastern Europeans have it in their blood to cook at home, as our family histories are often passed down through our family recipes. I can vividly remember the windows in our kitchen that overlooked the canal we lived on becoming steamy on those bitterly cold Michigan days when my mother or father would be preparing a favorite winter-time, comforting meal; Hungarian Beef Goulash over tiny, homemade dumplings, or a big pot of soul-warming, from-scratch Chicken Soup that would sit patiently on the stove, bubbling and simmering away for hours until it was just right. The zingy taste of hot, rosehip tea with lemon and honey after coming in from ice skating, cheeks red as apples, and nose and toes tingling from numbness, helped melt away the ice crystals. Those moments felt like a blanket wrapped around my shoulders that I knew I would always want to have along with me in my life, no matter how old I was.
At an early age I developed an appreciation for the role that the kitchen and the food prepared in it played in life. When family friends and guests would come for dinner, everyone always seemed to gather together in the kitchen at some point with a glass of wine in hand and a cheerful disposition, sharing some anecdote; or when an important discussion needed to be had, it was usually done around the kitchen table while eating together. So much is shared over a meal; it seems to be a time when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, which is truly beautiful.
My mother taught me the basics of cooking long before culinary school ever did, without even realizing it. I would often watch her while sitting on the counter-top sharing my day with her and absorb her actions and the care she placed in them while she prepared our dinner. It wasn’t until later in my life, when I myself became a wife and mother, that I realized how much love, nurture and care one can express through cooking for others. It is a gift that has been given to us. We can receive inspiration and love, and also be an inspiration to others through what we thoughtfully and intentionally prepare. That’s why the name “The Cozy Apron” seems perfect for my journal. I cherish the idea of someone anticipating slipping into the kitchen, putting on a favorite apron, and eagerly creating some wonderful, cozy and comforting memories in the way of cooking.
I look forward to sharing many of life’s offerings with you, and in turn, being inspired by you. I’m grateful to my parents and their beautiful, amazingly rich heritage for providing the fertile ground where the mustard seed of nurture through cooking could sprout and grow; to my husband and son, who are my joy and make me laugh so hard that tears stream down my contorted face; the wonderful clients I’ve been blessed with over the years; and for YOU, the reader of my newest labor of love, this journal. Each provides me with my reason to cook and share. Here’s to life’s journey! Thanks for visiting…
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
I obtained my Culinary Arts degree from the California School of Culinary Arts (Le Cordon Bleu program) in Pasadena, CA after graduating with honors in 2005. After a number of externships and stints in restaurants, I went on to have the privilege of being the Executive Chef of two substance abuse treatment centers in Malibu, CA, where my passion for people and the food they put into their bodies was further cultivated. I am currently the personal chef for a private client with a science/health and wellness home-based business, cooking for 12-13 people. I enjoy the challenge of creating menus that are satisfying for meat-eaters, vegetarians, dairy and non-dairy eaters, alike.