Millennium Park | Sept 22 - 24
Chef, Cookbook Author, Television Personality
The debut of the fourth season of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” in June of 2014 is the latest milestone in a pioneering career that stretches back more than 35 years. As a protégée of Julia Child, founder of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, executive chef of Gourmet magazine, Food Editor of ABC-TV’s ”Good Morning America,” and the host of several popular shows on the Food Network during that channel’s first decade, Sara Moulton has made her mark over and over again. A teacher at heart, Sara’s mission has remained the same for decades: to help the home cook get dinner on the table. Although she says, "I've always liked to eat,” the idea of somehow becoming a professional didn't occur to Sara until after she graduated from the University of Michigan with a liberal arts degree in 1974. And, indeed, it was at the Culinary Institute of America that Sara found herself.
She entered the CIA in the fall of 1975 and graduated with highest honors in 1977, then spent seven years in restaurants. She worked first in Boston, then in New York, taking off time only for a stint as a stagiaire with a master chef in Chartres, France in 1979. Sara's restaurant experience peaked with a gig as chef tournant at La Tulipe in New York in the early Eighties. It was also during this period that Sara co-founded the New York Women's Culinary Alliance, an "old girl's network" designed to help women culinary professionals. The Alliance celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.
In the interest of starting a family, Sara left restaurant work in favor of recipe-testing and recipe-development, occupations which tend not to require 80 hours a week. She spent two years as an instructor at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School (now known as the Institute of Culinary Education). It was there that Sara discovered her love of teaching, a passion that would give focus to her subsequent work in television. In 1984 Sara took a job in the test kitchen at Gourmet. Four years later she became chef of the legendary magazine's executive dining room, a position she held until the magazine’s demise in 2009.
Sara’s TV career began in 1979 when she was hired to work behind the scenes on public television's “Julia Child & More Company.” Her friendship with Julia led eventually to Sara's gig at “GMA,” where what started as another behind-the-scenes position ripened by 1997 into on-camera work. By then Sara had begun hosting the Food Network's “Cooking Live.” Six years and over 1200 hour-long shows later, “Cooking Live” ended its run on March 31, 2002. “Sara's Secrets” launched its three-year run the very next day. "Other TV chefs may own famous restaurants and perform with theatrical flair," noted TV Guide's Herma Rosenthal, "But Moulton's the one you can actually picture popping over to help you fix the lumpy gravy or the fallen soufflé."
Sara is the author of several cookbooks including Sara Moulton Cooks at Home (2002), Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals (2005) and Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners (2010). In December of 2011, she launched “Sara’s Kitchen,” an iPhone app featuring 60 recipes, 60 photos, and ten videos. In August of 2012 she began writing a weekly column entitled “The Healthy Plate” for the Associated Press.