Welcome! Let me introduce myself.

I'm Dara...

I grew with a view of Manhattan out my bedroom window. My lifelong passions for food and cooking began in New York City's fine dining restaurants with my parents at a very young age, and I soon began playing in the kitchen and enthusiastically devouring every issue of my mother's subscription to the inimitable magazine called Gourmet from age 11 onward — possibly never missing even one issue until the magazine folded in 2009! I spent time living in France as a teenager where my burgeoning love for everything edible was indulged - mostly by spending most of my pocket money in the patisseries, and I somehow declared Italy my "culinary homeland" before even leaving for college - or visiting Italy! 

I've been cooking for a long time...

I started cooking in restaurant kitchens during college, then graduated from the venerable Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where I learned foundational cooking skills and some valuable tricks for running a smooth kitchen. 

My choices with food helped me heal from being seriously ill...

After a major health crisis of my own in 2004, I came to understand the power of nourishing food and herbal medicine to cleanse, heal, and rejuvenate the body. I have since become deeply committed to organic and local fare and to learning all I can about using food as medicine, constantly reading and researching about the ever-changing field of nutrition. I went on to do the Holistic Nutrition program at Bauman College in Berkeley, as well as study with Paul Pitchford, author of the esteemed tome Healing with Whole Foods, and live on the farm of David Wolfe, cacao lover and health guru extraordinaire. In addition, I have studied about healing plants in the traditions of Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as Western herbal medicine. I am passionate about wild foods - in fact, I once held a position as “Forager” for the esteemed restaurant Manka’s Inverness Lodge while living in Point Reyes in 2005! I also possess a broad scope of knowledge about Bay Area farmers and food producers from years working at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market in San Francisco and the relationships I forged there. The journey with the plants never ends...

Now I own THE SAGE TABLE in Berkeley...

In my popular cooking classes, I love sharing my passion for seasonal, organic, local foods that are nutrient-rich, delicious and full of vitality, merging the magic of herbalism, superfoods and raw food nutrition with the principles of Weston Price and the modern Paleo movement. My cooking classes are fun and informative and showcase my vast repertoire, which includes mouthwatering traditional foods from an array of cultures and traditions and utilizes a wide variety of preparation techniques. 

Aside from teaching,

 I am available consulting for those who desire to find improved physical and mental well-being through savvy food choices. I truly love inspiring people to spend more time preparing food that fosters both well-being in the body as well as joy around the table. I believe in the power of pure foods to heal and rejuvenate our bodies, expand our spirits, and foster joy all around! 

Really, I just love to learn and alchemize in my kitchen...

Aside from simply cooking and playing in the kitchen, I am constantly reading and researching about the ever-changing field of nutrition, fermenting an array of healing concoctions and libations, making medicines and elixirs of all sorts, dabbling in artisanal crafting of raw chocolate delights, and learning always more about herbal medicine and the powers and healing magic of pure essential oils from around the world.

Recently, I'm on to something new...

I've embarked upon a year-long learning journey so I can help people go even deeper and further down their healing path. I'm in an incredible coaching program with some very cool and absolutely brilliant folks learning tons about the latest cutting edge science on nutrition and ways to optimize performance in all areas of life. My goal is to help my clients lead deeply fulfilling lives - both in and out of the kitchen! ;) I hope you follow along as I dive deeper and begin sharing more about my journey and what I will be offering to the world soon!

So, you don't want miss out on signing up for news from The Sage Table...

You'll hear about classes as soon as they're announced so you can be first to sign up to claim a coveted spot in my magical kitchen! Also, you'll find out about current offerings aside from classes. Plus — of course! — there will be kitchen musings, recipes, and other news about how to become radiantly healthy while eating the most delicious foods coming your way. Hope you enjoy!