I started experimenting with sourdough while I was unemployed and my creative work was on pause. I had been unemployed on and off for years because of my visual impairment (I was diagnosed legally blind with macular dystrophy when I was 18), and when I noticed that making pizza felt good (and people were interested in buying them) I decided to lean in.

This led me to start my pizza catering and pop-up business in Los Angeles. I bought a mobile pizza oven, hired some friends, and within a year we went from slinging pizzas in my backyard to selling out of 120 pies in two hours on the patio of a restaurant on a night they were closed. I had never worked in a kitchen before, and everything I knew about pizza and sourdough came from hours of Youtube, but what I learned here is what I have learned time and time again: you are only as strong as your community. My team made the project possible. Because of my visual impairment, I needed to create my own systems to be able to do the work well and my team was always eager to help accommodate me.

Through it all, I eventually learned I wasn’t trying to open a restaurant. When you are doing something seemingly well, people assume you are trying to go all the way to the moon. But I was just trying to do something tangible for myself and for those I was able to employ and feed. When we made the 120th pizza after our last three-hour shift, I decided I needed to hit pause and re-assess.

Now even though I haven’t gotten behind a 900 degree oven in a while, I am still so fond of the food community that helped shape who I’ve become since Covid. Cooking food is an everyday reality, a necessity to connect, to make something real, and at the same time meaningful to share with others. Food is about connection, and that’s something I will always remember.