I'm a Louisiana native who has lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest off and on for over 25 years. I have also lived in Santa Barbara, California and Paris, France. I'm following a vegan diet now for my health and also for compassionate reasons. My cultural influences are quite ecclectic: for example, when I lived in Paris my roommates were German, Polish, Scottish and French. My step-mother's family lived for decades in Venezuela and regularly cooked South American dishes. My years in SoCal taught me to enjoy salsa dancing and 'real' Mexican cooking. And of course, I was raised on one of the most unique cuisines in the world: Creole and Cajun cooking from South Louisiana. Throw years of Seattle vegetarian fare into the hopper and you have quite a mix of flavors, cultures and traditions.