Hi, I’m Sabrina. Brina for short. Or actually Bina to more of my close friends and family, but let’s not get into that.
Let’s talk food. After trying to figure out how I became so obsessed with food, I realized my nonna is more responsible than I ever thought. She was one tough, Sicilian cookie. Despite the lack of verbal expression of her love (possibly because she never learned English very well), we were constantly reminded of how much she cared. She thrived on nurturing her family through food. That’s what made her happy. I was fortunate enough to learn a few things from her.
Six days a week, my family would come together to share a home cooked meal, the seventh day being reserved for takeout. Everyone needs a break sometimes. As I grew up, I spent more and more time as assistant chef in the kitchen, and loved every minute of it.
I eventually grew to become a big proponent of healthy eating and very much interested in health and nutrition. At the same time, my nasty sweet tooth won many battles. I liked my sweets so much that I actually briefly studied Baking and Pastry Arts at Johnson and Wales University. Sometimes I wonder how things would’ve turned out if I had stayed. In any case, I ended up switching gears to focus on a concentration in nutrition at Penn State University.
A year after graduating, I moved to New York City. Love it. So much. I was working as a clinical dietitian in a hospital for several years, then transitioned into the role of patient services manager (aka food service manager). During my time as a dietitian, I created new recipes for the hospital’s cafeteria and performed cooking demos for our health and wellness program. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, this was the start of my recipe writing career. My cooking demos helped inspire me to share my recipes with a wider audience, hence the creation of brinasbites.com (formerly cookingatsabrinas.com). Some (or most) of my recipes might not seem so dietitian-friendly, but I believe moderation is key. Food should be fresh and delicious above anything else.
After starting this blog, I actually began doing cooking related work on the side of my full-time gig. I got involved in catering, and later began working part-time as a test kitchen assistant for a healthy, meal delivery service. I still help out there from time to time. It’s a lot of fun.
More recently, I made the biggest career move of all. I gave up my steady hospital position, and jumped into a full-time role in the food media world! I’m working as an assistant to food photographer and chef. A really awesome one. Really. He works with restaurants and brands many of you have heard of. As his assistant, I do a variety of work, but am really learning a lot about cooking right now. I had to make some sacrifices for this job, but I’m not complaining. The experience is certainly worth it. Whatever happens down the line, I know I’ll keep doing what I love. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy my recipes. Happy cooking!