Shelley Wiseman, Former Food Editor at Gourmet Magazine, has been traveling all her life and there is nothing she enjoys more than food and travel! “Learning cooking techniques in their place of origin gives you context way beyond the dish itself,” she believes. Shelley, a native of New York City, grew up also in Mexico and Brazil following the path of her father, a publisher of Time Life Books. Once she started her own journey in food in New York City (Le Plaisir, Le Cherche MIdi), she soon moved to Paris to continue learning the art of French Cooking in context. Working at fine dining restaurants like Le Bistro D’Hubert, she discovered not only great dishes, but an understanding of the French culinary world and how the French put a meal together by course. “Portions are smaller so that you can enjoy up to four or five courses. There may be rich food, but there are no empty calories, and the French diet doesn’t get you fat.”
After six years in France, Shelley returned to her beloved Mexico and opened a French cooking school (Ecole de Cuisine La Place) in Mexico City. But of course, steeped in the rich culinary landscape of Mexico, she also began to hone her knowledge of Mexican cuisine and co-wrote The Mexican Gourmet with Maria Dolores Torres Yzabal, a friend and mentor. She had her first taste of culinary tours working with Marilyn Tausend of Culinary Adventures of Mexico, helping put the details of the trips together as well as doing the market tours.
When Shelley landed a Food Editor’s position at Gourmet Magazine, she returned to the US and started an adventure of cooking food from around the world as well as developing her own recipes for the magazine. The job included the incredible perk of a yearly culinary trip which took her to Italy, Spain, The Republic of Georgia, as well as Thailand for intensive immersions in local cooking. Not only did these trips reinforce her belief of learning in place, Her lifetime of travel also qualified her to become the Travel Food Editor.
When Gourmet closed, she continued to write cookbooks (Just Tacos, The Farm Cooking School, Techniques and Recipes that Celebrate the Seasons) and returned to her love of teaching at The Farm Cooking School, introducing culinary trips to her students as well as teaching in the context of a farm full of produce. In 2022 Shelley went out again on her own and started Shelley’s Table where she continues to teach in and around Lambertville, NJ and develop culinary adventures.