Stacey Ballis began cooking at the age of four, and it has been a singular passion for her ever since. She began creating her own original recipes by the time she was ten. Mostly self-taught, she has taken specialty courses in Paris in sauce work and baking.

Experience: Stacey has been writing professionally about food and cooking in her novels since 2001, and to this date has ten of them published. Six of the novels include recipe sections with original recipes for dishes mentioned in the books. Her publisher, Penguin Random House, had her create a digital cookbook of the collected recipes from eight of the novels.

Additionally, Stacey was the recipe developer, culinary consultant, and food stylist for the cookbook "The Self-Care Cookbook: A Holistic Approach to Cooking, Eating and Living Well" by Frank Ardito. Stacey's original recipes have appeared in the Lodge Cookbook, The Extra-Crispy Cookbook, The Bake From Scratch Cookbook Volume 3, and one of her recipes was adapted for The New York Times.

Since 2016, Stacey has been a freelance culinary journalist, recipe developer, product reviewer, and writer of Chef profiles and interviews with over 1000 published articles under her byline. She writes regularly for outlets like Food & Wine, Eating Well, The Chicago Tribune, Delish, MyRecipes, Allrecipes, Nation's Restaurant News, and many others. Her work is syndicated all over the world.

Stacey has done cooking segments for local television in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis, and was a regular on-air contributor to the first season of the Rachael Ray Show with eleven appearances.

Education: Stacey holds a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University with concentrations in English Literature and American Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. She holds a master's degree in secondary education, with a concentration in English Literature and Composition for 6th-12th grade. As an educator, she received fellowships from the University of Chicago and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Stacey is also the president of the Chicago chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an international organization of women leaders in the culinary, beverage, and hospitality industries, and is a member of IACP, WCR, and the Southern Foodways Alliance.

The best meal Stacey has ever eaten was her wedding dinner. The chef was a dear friend and helped Stacey and her husband customize a seven-course tasting menu with wine and cocktail pairings, and allowed them to add many off-menu special details – like having biscuits in the bread service to honor her husband's Kentucky heritage, specialty mocktails for the non-drinkers, miniature milkshakes added to the dessert course, and hot cocoa to the coffee and tea service. They held the dinner in the private room of his restaurant, with just their immediate families enjoying an intimate supper. It was perfect in every aspect.

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