Aida Mollenkamp

Aida Mollenkamp is a Food Network star and host of the Cooking Channel‘s FoodCrafters. There she’s on a mission to “discover and celebrate the absolute masters in independent food production around the USA” as well as to promote her message that handmade, fresh, seasonal, whole food-based cooking is the key to deliciousness.

But before FoodCrafters, and her celebrated cookbook, Keys to the Kitchen, Aida was just a California girl with European roots and a passion for all things food. Educated at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, and later at the venerable Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Aida honed her culinary skills and cultivated her cooking philosophy.

I operate on the belief that food tastes better when it’s prepared by hand and made with healthy, whole ingredients. I value the rich artisanal culture and the effort and skill required to produce each element at the table. I believe a successful meal consists not only of good food, but also thoughtful design, artful presentation, and of course, fabulous company!

In 2005 she joined the editorial staff at CHOW magazine writing recipes, styling food and even creating instructional videos. Three years later she had her own shown on the Food Network, Ask Aida, followed by FoodCrafters.

KeysToTheKitchenLast year Aida published her first cookbook, Keys to the Kitchen.

This comprehensive manual collects more than 300 innovative, contemporary recipes as well as color photographs, plenty of informative illustrations, a substantial technique primer, and helpful how-to information on subjects as wide-ranging as rust removal, throwing a cocktail party, and knife skills.

For members of the tech-savvy new generation who can’t cook but want to, this essential reference guide makes an ideal starting place and for those already at ease in the kitchen it’s full of “who knew” moments for expanding their repertoire of great recipes.

I encourage you to sharpen your knives and follow Aida’s culinary adventures on her blog, Pairs Well With Food. Aida says her blog’s quest is to “inspire creativity in the meals you craft, the gatherings you design, and the food adventures you embark upon.” Her recipes are European and Mediterranean inspired, universally delicious and feature absolutely  stunning photography sure to make your stomach growl. But don’t take my word for it, check out some her latest recipes.

Recently Aida partnered with Attune Foods to promote The Honeybee Project. The Honeybee Project is a collaboration between Attune Foods and the Rodale Institute’s Honeybee Conservancy to spread awareness about the importance of honeybees in communities. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honeybees pollinate 80% of the nation’s flowering crops which constitute 1/3 of everything we eat.

Honeybee Project Banner

Aida-Mollenkamp-Pink-Lemonade-Bars-1020As part of The Honeybee Project, Aida shared her recipe for Honeyed Pink Strawberry Lemonade Bars and was kind enough to let us share it with you here on Strawberry Sue.

Aida currently lives in California, dividing her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles. She spends her free time trying new restaurants, building out her home bar, shopping for antiques, honing her photography skills, dancing, and, of course, cooking.

You can follow Aida on Twitter, like her Facebook page and her delicious Pinterest page.