As a child I pretended to be one of two things: an entertainer and an educator. I often put on shows for my tolerant parents or pretended to be a schoolteacher with my less tolerant younger sisters. Amid the active imagination of my youth was very good home-cooked food prepared by my parents while Emeril Lagasse BAMMED his way to culinary fame on The Food Network. Inspired, I started learning to cook around ten years old and a fun hobby was born.
In high school I performed well academically and enjoyed participating in theatre, swimming, and band. I was accepted to both The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood as well as California State University, Fresno. Practicality won out and I opted to attend CSU Fresno to study education. My favorite classes were public speaking and yoga (for real).
Fast forward a few years, young and in love with my high school sweetheart, I planned our 2002 wedding with zest! I was fascinated with the logistics of wedding planning and dreamed of possibly starting my own business one day. In the meantime, living on the East Coast as a newlywed, far from family, friends, and everything familiar, I spent much of my free time cooking (and eventually raising our first daughter). Ina Garten, Giada de Laurentiis, Julia Child, and even Rachel Ray were my trusted TV instructors and I spent hours practicing my chiffonade, egg frying, and anything else I could learn. In 2006 we returned to California and this was the prompt I needed to start my San Diego-based wedding planning business, Alison Howard Events, in the spring of 2007. Over the next few years I would create a successful business – and two more kiddos!
In 2013 I returned to the stage, speaking at wedding industry conferences all over the country, which led to the addition of my coaching program for novice wedding planners. As a wedding planner the two things I enjoyed most were educating my clients/new wedding planners about the wedding world and FOOD. Working with some of the most talented Chefs in Southern California, I was exposed to amazing culinary experiences that birthed in me a new goal: to attend culinary school one day!
After nearly a decade of planning hundreds of weddings while also working as a wedding industry educator, my family and I decided to leave San Diego and move back to our small hometown in the Central Valley of California to be close to our extended family. I knew this was the time to transition out of the wedding industry and into culinary arts, health, and wellness. In 2016 I enrolled in culinary school and in spring 2018 I graduated with honors and perfect attendance (nerd alert)! I have had the privilege of working both on the line in several kitchens as well as in the front of house. I have spent time as a personal chef and also recently enjoyed teaching in the culinary arts department at West Hills College, Lemoore.
I love sharing my passion of food, wellness, and holistic nutrition. Inspiring others to live their best life and fearlessly follow their ambitions is both deeply satisfying and a complete honor. Thank you for being here! I’m always happy to share and would love to connect with you.