Kickstarter’s Culinary Creator in Residence

Kickstarter Creators in Residence, Summer 2018. Photo by Bryan Derballa.

Back in March, Kickstarter announced an open call to apply for their creators-in-residence program. It’s 3 months of free office space, resources and mentorship for those planning (or in the middle of) launching a Kickstarter project or Drip.

This was a pivotal time for me because I was embarking on a complete career change. In December, I decided to leave my tech job at Flipboard for the tumultuous world of cooking. I didn’t know how I was going to do this but I knew the things I didn’t want.

I didn’t want a 9 to 5 schedule. I didn’t want to sit at a desk for a majority of the day. I didn’t want to make the same food every day. I did not want to work toward another person’s goal. I wanted my own.

Hello? Hire me.

Gosh, where to start? The first thing I did was take a break. Social media burnout is real and palpable (You can read about that in my Drip AMA). I took another month to figure out rules, routines and how to work from home. There I was, ready for the world to hire me! Errr, except I had absolutely nothing booked for the summer.

I have to thank my friend Michael (Kickstarter’s head of food and drink) for sending me a link to the open call for residents. I remember seeing previous applications that wanted to highlight fine artists and film makers. Never had I thought of myself as a real artist in food. That’s the thing though, my practice is called culinary arts. When I found out that I was accepted, I felt like I was coming home. Kickstarter is a company that I’ve invested a lot of time, money and energy before this residency. Many of my friends are on this team and over the years, we’ve really helped each other out.

Photo by Lauren Renner

Two to three times a week, I’d walk across Greenpoint from my kitchen studio to the massive Kickstarter kitchen to test recipes, style photo shoots and write food history essays for TASTE Cooking. A constant problem I have is that I run out of room in my fridge and don’t have enough people around to taste test my concoctions. Kickstarter’s team was all-too-happy to help.

I had a Slack channel called #SnackTime and well, you get the idea.

During my stay, I rebooted my tv show Facts N’ Cheese, finished delivering rewards for the #SuperNachoBowl and launched a Drip. To see my Drip exclusive recipes like cheddar toasties, rosé fondue, and artichoke quiche, it’s $2/month for access to the archive and new recipes every Tuesday. At the end, I hosted a reception for 40 of my supporters. We gathered to watch my food porn videos set to live piano music by sylcmyk.

Through the residency, I learned how I was going to make this kind of creative life happen. I went in not knowing what my day to day would be like after leaving a cushy tech job. Now I’m excited to have ongoing projects that will propel me forward.

Here’s a list of my projects and pieces that went up during the course of the residency.




Photos by Bryan Deballa, animated by me

My work is just one drop in the residency bucket! Read about everything we accomplished this summer. To keep up with what past residents are doing, subscribe to the Kickstarter alumni newsletter.

What now? I’m available for catering, food styling, and cooking classes in the NYC area and expanding to the San Francisco Bay Area. Check out my portfolio and I hope I get to feed you soon.