By Helena Pett, submitted May 27, 2015

 “We all have to eat, there’s no two ways about it,” said Ingrid Beer, professional personal chef, recipe developer, and blogger.

Ingrid, who attends Glendale City Church in Glendale, CA, first got into cooking after deciding to make homemade baby food for her newborn son. She was raised in a family where cooking was a big part of their life and Eastern European culture, so she had always been able to do some basic cooking. But by making her son’s food and watching the Food Network, she found that cooking was something that she “absorbed…and was quickly falling in love with.”

Ever since she was 12 years old, Ingrid had dreamed of becoming an actress. She loved knowing exactly what she was supposed to do, what routes she was to take, and she could just envision herself acting. At the age of 17 she moved from Michigan to California to pursue this acting dream. After experiencing the acting world, encountering interesting experiences and people, she found that this path was only a “primer” for the path God was leading her towards—the path of “nurturing, encouraging, and feeding people, both literally and figuratively.”

Ingrid decided to go back to school in 2003 for her formal education at Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts (formerly the California School of Culinary Arts). Shortly after graduating, Ingrid became the executive chef at different rehab facilities. It was here that Ingrid was able to see firsthand just how food is able to heal, encourage, and nurture. “There is something magical about coming up with combinations of ingredients and creating something that both feeds the soul, and feeds the physical body,” she says.

Then in 2012 Ingrid and her husband, Michael, started their blog together. “The Cozy Apron” (https://thecozyapron.com/) is a project of theirs that allows them to work together creatively (since that’s what they do best), and to provide their visitors with “food” that is both physical and spiritual in nature. Due to the many correlations between food and life, they hope to introduce people to their own personal relationship with their God, maybe causing them to think about the spiritual concepts found in both food and life. Through this process they pray that people are able to “get back in touch with their better, higher selves, which is what Michael and I are constantly being inspired to do, as well.” Their dream is to be able to make their blog/website their full-time business, offering more content, e-books, videos, and products.

When asked about advice for those wanting to enter the culinary arts, Ingrid says that having a passion to cook, a desire to give, and a love for service is critical…after all, it is the service industry. It is easy to see the Food Network celebrities and think that is what food/cooking is all about. But in reality, Ingrid says at least in the beginning is not a glamorous, high-paying career. Hard work, long hours, and dedication are necessary.

Throughout all of this, Ingrid kept pointing back to God, for humoring her interest in the acting industry, and then directing her towards her culinary career, and refreshing her when she gets tired physically, emotionally, and spiritually in this line of work. But ultimately she says,“I give ALL credit to God for this career path that I’m on. Frankly, there are many times I cannot believe that I’m doing what I’m doing, as I never in a million years would have imagined myself working with food. Never. Being able to express a tangible love, and being able to express nurture through a creative process, is my favorite thing about cooking.”