Tori Avey is the creator and editor of the popular cooking and lifestyle blog ToriAvey.com. She explores Mediterranean cuisine and culture, Jewish recipes, food history, and more. Tori has become a trusted authority on Mediterranean and Jewish cuisine, and her site reaches many millions of readers globally each year. Visitors to ToriAvey.com can browse through hundreds of authentic and well-tested recipes for the adventurous home cook, as well as cooking tutorials and tips for enjoying a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Tori also serves on the International Executive Committee of Genius 100 Visions, an active and engaged community inspired by the life and work of Albert Einstein. She has been a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the American Folklore Society, the Association for the Study of Food and Society, and the Culinary Historians of Southern California. She also wrote a popular food history column for PBS Food.
Gil Marks wrote about the history of American Cakes for ToriAvey.com, revealing the history and culture of the United States through its classic treat. An author, historian, chef, and social worker, Gil Marks was a leading authority on the history and culture of culinary subjects. Among his published books are James Beard Award finalist Encyclopedia of Jewish Food (Wiley: 2010), James Beard Award-winning Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World (Wiley 2004), and James Beard Award finalist The World of Jewish Cooking (Simon & Schuster, 1996). He was also among the international team of contributors to the prestigious Meals in Science and Practice (Woodhead Publishing, 2009) and Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival (Ruder Finn Press, 2011). In January 2012, Saveur Magazine included Encyclopedia of Jewish Food in its “100 New Classics” as “an indispensable resource.” Gil also wrote articles for numerous magazines; served as a guest lecturer at the Culinary Institute of America, Hazon, the New York Public Library, and the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference; acted as consultant for various companies and organizations; and given presentations throughout the world. Gil passed away in 2014; Tori shared a tribute to his life and work here.
Michael W. Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene, explores African American and Southern foodways for ToriAvey.com. He is a recognized culinary historian, community scholar, and living history interpreter focusing on historic African American food and folk culture. He is webmaster of afroculinaria.com, the first website/blog devoted to the preservation of historic African American foodways. He has conducted classes and workshops, written curricula and educational programs, giving lectures and performed cooking demonstrations for over 100 groups including the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Library of Congress, and Oxford University’s Symposium on Food and Cookery. He has been profiled in the Washington Post and interviewed multiple times on NPR, including on the acclaimed food program The Spendid Table. He is well known for his expertise in the history and heritage of enslaved African Americans and their foodways and his knowledge of growing African American heirloom crops, open hearth cooking, heritage breed livestock, and wild flora and fauna utilized by enslaved Africans and their descendants.
Sharon Biggs Waller writes about historical and vintage cooking techniques for ToriAvey.com. Sharon developed a passion for historical cooking at age fourteen when she took pioneer cooking at sleep-away camp. She carried that love into adulthood when she became an interpretive national park ranger. She showed visitors how maple syrup, apple cider, sorghum molasses, and jam were made the old-fashioned way at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Today she is a historical young adult novelist and freelance magazine writer for Urban Farm, Hobby Farms, Hobby Farm Home, and Chickens. Viking/Penguin will release her debut historical novel, A Mad, Wicked Folly, in 2014. She is also the co-author of The Original Horse Bible (i5 Publishing) under her maiden name, Sharon Biggs. She lives on a hobby farm outside of Chicago with her husband Mark, two horses, ten dairy goats, four cats, two dogs, 30 laying hens, a gaggle of geese, and a hive of bees. You can find her at sharonbiggswaller.com.
Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific and author or editor of 26 books on food including Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet, Beans (winner of the 2008 IACP Jane Grigson Award), Pancake – A Global History, Nuts – A Global History, Noodle Soup, Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food, a Food History Reader: Primary Sources, and a translation of the 16th century cookbook Livre fort excellent de cuysine. He was also co-editor of the journal Food, Culture and Society. He co-edited The Business of Food, Human Cuisine, Food and Faith and edited Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, A Cultural History of Food: The Renaissance, The Routledge International Handbook to Food Studies and The Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues. Albala was series editor of several food series including over 100 titles. His textbook Three World Cuisines: Italian, Chinese, Mexican was winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards best foreign cuisine book in the world for 2012. He has also co-authored two cookbooks: The Lost Art of Real Cooking and The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home. He has done two complete series for the Great Courses: Food: A Cultural Culinary History and Cooking Across the Ages. He also wrote and narratedA History of Bourbon for Audible. His latest projects are a new translation of Apicius which is available online from Adam Matthew and Gelatin: Past and Future.
Kelly Jaggers shares her family recipes and delicious food photography with ToriAvey.com. Kelly is a cookbook author, recipe developer, food photographer, and founder of the recipe blog Evil Shenanigans. She specializes in creating indulgent recipes featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients … and lots and lots of butter. Kelly is the author of 10 cookbooks including the best-selling The Everything Easy Instant Pot Cookbook, The Everything Mediterranean Instant Pot Cookbook, and her latest The Ultimate Baking for One Cookbook. Kelly also works as a food stylist and photographer who has provided photography for various publications and companies. When she is not busy cooking up a storm in her own kitchen she teaches in-person and virtual cooking classes. Kelly lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and two hound dogs
Bruce Kraig is Professor Emeritus in History at Roosevelt University in Chicago where he taught a wide variety of courses in history, anthropology, and popular culture. Kraig has appeared widely in the electronic media as writer and on-camera host and narrator for a multi-award winning PBS series on food and culture around the world. Publications range from books and articles in academic journals on European and world prehistory through American history. Books about cookery and culinary include Mexican-American Plain Cooking, The Cuisines of Hidden Mexico, Hot Dog: A Global History, and Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America (2012). He is the editor of the “Heartland Foodways” book series for the University of Illinois Press and a co-editor of the newly inaugurated “Encyclopedia of Chicago Food” (U of Illinois Press). Among hundreds of public talks given are the keynote address at a Pillsbury Bake-Off, Smithsonian Institutions’ Museums on Main Street projects, keynote address at the Australian Symposium on Gastronomy, and he has addressed the Library of Congress on food history. Kraig is the Past and Founding President of the Culinary Historians of Chicago.
Chef Louise Mellor wrote about vintage recipes and antique cookbooks, and also shared her gorgeous food photography on ToriAvey.com. Louise was a dear friend of Tori’s, who sadly passed away in 2019. Chef Louise aka Geez Louise! made everyday more delicious for over 15 years as a private chef, caterer, culinary instructor, recipe developer, food stylist, and media spokesperson. Louise was a professional chef, food and lifestyle expert with vintage flair. She had a degree in culinary arts and was formally trained in classical French cuisine at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu. With her classic “Americana” charm, Louise shared her contagious excitement about food and wine working with well-known brands as a media spokesperson and hosting culinary events. Louise’s blog “Geez Louise” was featured on Saveur and Fine Cooking, and in 2013 she was named as one of Babble’s Top 100 Mommy bloggers.
Sharon Aharoni is an Israel-based cooking enthusiast and writer. She is inspired by various cooking traditions, stemming from her diverse background and upbringing. Sharon’s heritage, and the basis on which her love for food was born, is diverse and widespread. She is part Yemenite, Bukharian, Eastern European, American, and Israeli. This diversity comes through in her cooking and in her ongoing search for new and interesting culinary experiences. As a teenager, Sharon pursued her passion as a cook at a local café, and after completing service in the Israel Defense Forces, worked as a cook at the “Zuni” restaurant in Jerusalem. While completing her B.A in Communications and Sociology-Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Sharon worked at the Jerusalem Post, where she contributed numerous stories. Sharon blogs about the rich culinary scene in Israel and abroad on ToriAvey.com, focusing on restaurants and eateries featuring mostly vegan and vegetarian healthy, fresh food.
Brenda Ponnay is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and published author of two children’s books. On the internet she’s known as Secret Agent Josephine, a blogger who writes about her everyday adventures with her young daughter. Brenda blogs about holiday crafts and kid-friendly culinary projects on ToriAvey.com. Whether it’s crafting, baking or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay is happiest when she is being creative every single day. See her portfolio here.
Ashley Biggs is our Community Manager at ToriAvey.com. Ashley has worked with Tori Avey for several years as a researcher, writer, and culinary assistant. During her college years, Ashley developed a passion for exploring food history and finding new ways to connect to food through writing. After studying Journalism and Anthropology at Indiana University and working in the restaurants of two James Beard Award-nominated chefs, she returned to her family’s hobby farm in Northwest Indiana and gained a new respect for sustainable, small scale farming. She spent two years learning how to milk goats, deliver goat kids, make cheese, can, and preserve produce and care for chickens, geese, and horses before she began to feel an itch for the city life. In her spare time, Ashley loves to bake, curates an online vintage shop, and spends as much time around art (including food!) as possible. She now resides in Chicago with her two cats, Pullo and Bertille, and her dog Hiromi.
Lindsea Willon MS, NTP writes about nutrition on ToriAvey.com. Lindsea grew up experiencing the benefits of a nourishing, traditional diet. The gap between conventional dietary teachings and traditional wisdom sparked her curiosity and led her to pursue a degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, her certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and her Masters in Sports Nutrition. After finishing graduate school, she began her own practice in Los Angeles and joined the experienced team of practitioners at Biodynamic Wellness in San Diego, California. Lindsea’s personal passions have always driven her professional expertise. As a former collegiate athlete, she now serves a client base of collegiate and professional athletes looking to improve their sport performance. As a student of cultural nutrition practices, she helps immigrant clients that have suffered at the hands of the American food system regain the health they enjoyed while eating their traditional diet. And as a new mom, she coaches women in hormonal balance, optimizing fertility, and prenatal health. She also educates families on nourishing their children. Learn more about Lindsea’s practice on her site.
Amanda Sager is a full-time recipe developer, food photography, or videographer depending on the day. She runs her own blog over at Mindful Avocado where she blogs about vegan and vegetarian recipes. Amanda helps bring recipes to life by creating some of the videos you see on this site. You can find her full portfolio here. When she’s not busy in the kitchen or photo studio, she’s getting her hands on any DIY project, drinking copious amounts of coffee, sharing Insta stories of her cat, or watching unhealthy amounts of Netflix.