At the age of 9, I made my first pizza – from scratch, homemade dough and all. My mother loves to tell the story: “Oh, she was so cute”, she would say, “her little hands were too small to press out the stiff pizza dough, so she put the dough in the pan, and put the pizza pan on the kitchen floor, put plastic bags on her feet and stomped on it until it was thin enough to resemble a crust”.
This was one of my first ventures into the culinary world, and I haven’t looked back
since…although I’ve sharpened my skills quite a bit over the years, ,and I promise not to step on your family’s dinner– plastic bags or not!
I spent four of the best years of my life at the University of Illinois, studying Food
Science and Human Nutrition. That background has really helped me with my clients who have special dietary needs.
I have worked in restaurants and hotels, but I really don’t like the mass production of those environments. I much prefer to work on a smaller scale with families who need my help.
So what can I do for you? I can take on your challenge. I have worked with people with countless diets, food allergies, and families who are busy and need a hand putting dinner on the table.
Born and raised in Kaunas , Lithuania, as a child I was always fascinated with creating. I can remember spending the summers at my grandparents house as a young child and playing house with my cousins. I was always in charge of the cooking and instead of using your typical plastic food toys; I would pick fresh produce from my grandmas’ garden and cook our meals from scratch.
By the time I reached the age of 10, I was responsible for cooking our family dinners, as both my parents were working full time. One of my favorite memories of my childhood was my father’s requests for dinner. He loved my blintzes above all, and his subtle ways of requesting I make them was to go shopping prior to coming home, hand me the bag of groceries and say, “This might be good for dinner. What do you think?”
As the years progressed I developed a strong understanding of European cuisine and found it to be my biggest passion above anything else. I found that my creativity best shined in the kitchen and here is where I found my innovative canvas.
As time passed, I ended up getting married and had two beautiful little girls. Being a mother and a wife was a blessing and while I wasn’t pursuing a career in my passion, I was in a position where I was able to perfect my understanding of American and World cuisine through exploration and creativity. This is where my passion began to bloom to where it currently resides.
Vaida has been with Thyme for Dinner since 2016.