a little about me, kayla

Hi! I could not be more excited that you’ve found the space where I get to share all of my food creations and love for cooking with you! Simply put, I love nothing more than lighting a few candles, putting on some music, standing in the kitchen and letting my mind dream up what I’m going to cook. I really believe it’s a simple joy that most people are either scared of or simply don’t know how to pursue. I want to guide you, helping you become a more adventurous, creative cook.

I graduated from the University of Illinois where I studied Hospitality Management & Food Science. While working in the kitchen at a few restaurants during my college summers, I finally took the leap and applied to The Culinary Institute of America to fulfill my dream of going to culinary school. And the best part? It was in dreamy Napa Valley. Sunny skies, vineyards for miles, lots of wine, and restaurants that truly shaped what farm to table cooking is meant to be. The whole experience changed the way I look at food, ingredients, and creativity. My passion grew even more.

After the program ended, I worked at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro and was able to get the most out of Napa’s cuisine by staying in the area a little longer. The emphasis on local, seasonal produce and extracting flavor in new and unique ways has influenced how I want to cook forever.

I moved home at the end of 2016 to work with my family’s restaurant company and re-launch the food blog I had started a couple of years back. I just couldn’t rest my entrepreneurial spirit, and The Original Dish was the perfect outlet for all of my creative energy.

If I’m not in the kitchen (which isn’t too often) I love doing yoga, reliving my past figure skating career out on the ice, reading cookbooks, or eating at (way too many) restaurants. One thing always remains the same: I am so extremely passionate about pursuing my love for food. I hope that I can inspire you as well.

would love to hear from you! comment below or email me at kayla[at]theoriginaldish[dot]com.

33 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Kayla, since finding out about your blog months ago I have been working through your recipes, making one or two each week. I’ve probably done 15 or so now and every one has been an absolute banger. Such incredible combinations of flavors – really impressive!

    I haven’t been leaving comments on each recipe so I figured I would leave my thanks here. I hope you keep updating the site with new recipes. My goal is to eventually make all of them!

    1. Wow, thank you so much for the amazing feedback, Kiefer! I really appreciate it, and I’m thrilled you’re enjoying the recipes. Happy cooking!!

  2. Hi Kyla, I am sooo glad to have stumbled on to your site, inspirational, the photos are sexy, Thomas Keller wow that is so cool and your style show how hard you have worked over the Decade,
    X chef 1980`s nothing like this for inspiration in the 80`s / 90`s.I will trying your food weekly.

    1. Hi Greg! Thank you so much for such a great comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to share such nice words. And I’m thrilled to hear that you’re inspired by the recipes! I hope you enjoy! -Kayla

  3. I just spent about two wonderful hours perusing your recipes. OMG! They all look amazing. Cannot wait to give some a try. Thank you! So glad I found you!!

    1. Hi Louie! Thank you for such a wonderful comment! I’m thrilled that the recipes look good to you, and I hope you get to enjoy some soon! Let me know if you ever have any recipe questions. -Kayla

    1. Hi Wendy! I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes and are excited to make them! Thank you for following along!

  4. I just KNEW you must have had some culinary experience, because your food is so layered, flavorful, and visually gorgeous! Nearly every recipe I get via email, I want to make!

    1. Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback, Michelle! I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of the recipes!

  5. Your recipes look amazing and you should be writing a cookbook. I have yet to try any of these as I just stumbled across your page but you surpass even the well known trending women in the food blogging industry right now. Very unique look and I think you’d really be successful! I will continue to follow and make things from your page!

    1. Hi Liz! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such great feedback. I really appreciate the kind words! I don’t have a cookbook in the works just yet, but hopefully in the near future. I hope you enjoy the recipes!

  6. One of the best recipe blogs I have come across!! If I could I would cook every single recipe you post! What an amazing talent you have!
    Keep the creative spirit and good luck with everything you propose to do

    1. Hi Georgina! Thank you so much for the wonderful message and the very kind words. I really appreciate it, and I could not be happier that you are enjoying the recipes! -Kayla

      1. Hi Melissa! I don’t have a cookbook just yet, but hopefully in the near future. I’m SO thrilled to hear that you’d be interested in one! Thank you!!

  7. Hi Kayla, I have been making blueberry muffins for the past 50 years since I was married but I have to say your Blueberry Streusel Muffins are the best I have ever made!!! Thank you so much.

  8. I’ve been the sole cook in this household for 60 years and I don’t mind telling you I’m over it. My husband, bless him, mentioned Light and Easy which is all very well but somehow, while it’s easy, I prefer more creative food so while I still have to do it I’ve made several of your suggestions. It seems easy enough to take the recipe to the Italian supermarket and just buy the ingredients then come home and make it.
    I love the variety of your recipes and interspersed with a few easy favorites think I can struggle on for a few more years.
    Thank you

  9. I have just found your website and I am so impressed with not only the food you create, but the pictures you take. The lighting is magic! I am looking forward to cooking from your website as soon as I can. I took a glance at your Breakfast tab and WOW. I cannot wait to look at the rest! I think you should honestly make a cookbook with all of this goodness.

  10. I read your beet and orange recipe, which reminded me a fair amount of Francis Mallmann’s version, and I knew you had to have had some culinary experience.
    Some nice recipes on here, excited to try some out.

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for the feedback…I really appreciate it. I hope you love them. Let me know which ones you try!

  11. I am so thrilled to find this site and wish you the best of luck with your student dinner. I am sending this link to my sons, too, since they all like to cook with their wives! Your pictures are wonderful and I look forward to making your recipes for Easter this year.

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