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Conversations with the Inspiring Gaby Dalkin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gaby Dalkin.

Gaby, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was the pickiest eater growing up. No joke. I ate pretty much only pasta and grilled cheese until I got to high school. In high school, I started watching a bunch of cooking shows and was obsessed with making chicken parmesan. Literally, thats the only thing I made for the first few years and trust me when I tell you that I make the BEST chicken parm ever. When I got to college, I got chubby REAL fast. Freshman 15? I wish. It was more like the Freshman 25 and I was playing tennis every day too. I had 4 square meals a day (in college we’d go eat a second dinner at 9pm – super healthy… NOT!) and eventually took matters into my own hands and started cooking. After college, I moved down to Los Angeles and got a regular office job. HATED IT, and the company eventually folded. I was only there for about nine months and rather than go get another job right away, I decided I would go to culinary school and put off the real world for just a bit longer. After culinary school, I went to pastry school and meanwhile did the blog as a hobby. I started working as a private chef and did that for a few years and then walked away from that world as the blog picked up steam! And now I run What’s Gaby Cooking, with my husband, full time!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think finding my voice and rhythm took me a while. And that’s what I tell people to focus on when they are starting a career like mine. You really need to know what you stand for, what makes you different and have a defined point of view. There’s an incredible amount of content out there, so you really have to give everyone something to come back to time and time again.

What should we know about What’s Gaby Cooking? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I run What’s Gaby Cooking full time! I have a line of products (15+ and growing) sold exclusively at Williams Sonoma, my 3rd cookbook comes out 4/28.

WGC is a celebration of what it’s like to live the California Girl Life. That means it’s always sunny, green goddess salads for lunch are a great idea, slutty brownies for dinner are equally as acceptable and I’ll never say no to a burrito with extra guacamole – it’s all about balance!

I fully support packing your bags and heading out of town for a new adventure, be it a food inspired road trip or a South America expedition. Yoga pants are considered the best uniform, but throwing on a red lip and heels is also fun.

At What’s Gaby Cooking, we’re living every day like a true California Girl, flip flops are welcome year-round and we can promise you that you’ll always be well fed!

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Meeting as many people as possible, getting to know them, and not being afraid to go outside of my industry. Some of the people that have made the biggest impact on my life have NOTHING to do with the food industry. It’s all about finding someone who you respect, look up to and can turn to when you need advice!

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Image Credit:
Matt Armendariz for all images

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