Born and raised in Queens, New York, I was surrounded by a wonderful diversity of food cultures everywhere I went. My parents juggled multiple jobs so we had takeout for family dinners more often than not. This is when I turned to the Food Network and cooking magazines such as Bon Appetit, Saveur, and Food and Wine.  Slowly my interest in good food turned into an obsession and a desire to transform the recipes portrayed in these magazines into my own unique creations.

 

After studying fine arts at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in New York City, I decided to direct my passion for visual design into something all people could enjoy - food. I received my degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After working in various restaurants and catering halls, I decided to pursue the digital world to get ahead in food styling; a career I desperately wanted to break into. I worked my way through a digital media production degree at Manhattanville College. This opened my eyes to an entirely new way of viewing food styling. I can now visualize an idea, create it from scratch, plate it, and transform the image through light and angles even before the final product is captured on film.

 

Formerly a freelance chef providing craft services, private parties, and small catering functions in the New York area; I now work as a food editor for Hearst Media Group, developing and testing recipes for print in their published magazines.  I specialize in Mediterranean and New American cuisines, with experience in most cuisines across the globe. Through my culinary experiences, I hope to grow as an educator that can help others learn and experience the knowledge I have gained through my experiences. Being able to bring beautiful, nutritious, and of course delicious food to people while supplying knowledge is a path that I find fulfilling. My visual eye and drive for the culinary world is something I believe will appeal to everyone’s inner foodie.

Erika

Dugan