Nicole Hamaker was born and raised in the town of Madera, California. At age 19, she decided to explore life outside of California and packed up and moved to Oregon. She has traveled and lived many places since then, but her family and home have always remained in the San Joaquin Valley. While living for five years in Sicily, the sights, sounds, and smells of Italian cuisine added to the lifelong appreciation of fresh food her parents had instilled, and the result was Pinch My Salt, a collection of thoughts and images that share her life and love of cooking and creating. In the Spring of 2010 she moved back to Fresno.
Phillip was born at Fresno Community Hospital, but at age 6 his family relocated to Utah, where he spent most of his earlier years. Like Nicole, Phillip has traveled widely and has called several states home. He studied Philosophy at the University of North Texas which makes him well suited for work in the food service industry. He has, in fact, worked in several restaurants, most notably Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the one and only Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York. Phillip moved back to Fresno in October of 2010.
Phillip and Nicole first met and became friends in 1993 when Phillip came back to Fresno to stay with his grandparents. Nicole’s gift for creating imaginative, delicious food is well met by Phillip’s love of food, and now the two of them embark upon a new adventure together, rediscovering Fresno and all it has to offer. Joining them along the way are an energetic Boston Terrier named Smack and Thumbelina, the fluffiest cat known to man.