About Kirsten

kirsten vala

I grew up near Omaha, Nebraska, where my parents own Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Fall Festival, a seasonal entertainment business. I spent many hot summers picking sweet corn and working at my Dad’s corner farm stand, where I learned to appreciate (and crave) the freshest produce.

I studied Anthropology and Psychology as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis. And then, inspired by Gourmet magazine and Food Network (along with a brief stint as a culinary intern in Madrid, Spain), I decided I wanted to be a food writer. I didn’t really know what that meant at the time, but I knew New York City was the place to be – I was off in a flash to get my M.A. in Magazine Journalism from New York University.

After graduating from NYU I worked as an intern for several publications while looking for a job, and through some super luck I was hired as a freelancer to help launch Gourmet.com (what a dream come true!) and then BonAppetit.com. With this digital experience I was fortunate to land a full time job as an online editor for FoodNetwork.com, where I worked for 4 great years.

Now, craving suburbia and a change of pace, my husband and I have moved to a cute little town just north of Boston. I’m working remotely for Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, helping with everything tech, social and food related, and I’m also launching a new blog, Dumplings & Doughnuts, and continuing to write. As a journalist, writer and food lover, I’m always searching for my next story and planning my next meal.

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