We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Tofer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be in a career where I help others in an emotional way. In college, I declared myself a Psychology major and believed that going down that route was the best decision for me. I got into one of the top Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s programs and continued on my path to becoming a therapist. I worked for multiple years with individuals suffering from psychological disorders as well as those battling addiction. I learned a lot, both about myself and others. It helped me gain empathy, sympathy and patience. However, I had a feeling that it was not the right career for me. I still wanted to help people, but in some other way. Within time, I fell into my current position and I now realize that there are ways in which I can help people that doesn’t require me to be a therapist. I am helping people by encouraging them to face their fears, improve their self esteem, feel better about themselves and gain confidence – all done in their kitchens. It makes me so happy to receive daily messages from my followers who thank me for helping them become better cooks, put delicious meals on their dinner tables and how they feel so good about themselves.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I chose the “art” title because I believe that cooking is all about art. Your plate is the palette and you have an infinite number of paints and brushes to work with. You can personalize your dishes in whichever way you choose. My journey started just a year ago. My husband and I were sitting on my couch and he encouraged me to do something with my passion. On that couch we created HANGRYMOMS and I can’t tell you how HAPPY it makes me to run into people on the street who know the name and tell me that I’ve helped them in some way. I’ve learned to be patient. I’ve learned not to put myself down if a dish doesn’t go as planned. I’ve learned how to photograph my dishes and the importance of presentation. I’ve had fun, I’ve danced, I’ve bonded with my daughter in the kitchen. She’s my sous chef and helps me cook daily. I’ve improved my self esteem and love that I’m helping others. I want the world to know that deep down I am a shy person who takes time to open up. Through HANGRYMOMS, I’ve learned ways in which I can be more open and less shy. It’s pushed me to face my imperfections and parts of myself that I didn’t know existed. I am an every day individual, a wife, a mom. Not everything is as perfect as it seems on social media – there are a lot of failed dishes, lots of frustration, difficulty balancing behind my posts. And I want my followers to know that I’m human, we’re all human. And that’s life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Griffith Observatory The beach Hollywood Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills Hiking at Temescal Canyon, Runyon or Will Rogers Theme parks – magic mountain, Disneyland, Universal studios Huntington Gardens Drive to Palm Springs, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ojai Eat at Nobu Banderas Malibu Farm Mastro’s Catch LA Cecconi’s Bestia Forma Go to some of the rooftop bars in LA Lay out at the trendy hotel pools
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband deserves every credit for my journey thus far. If it wasn’t for his encouragement and support I definitely would not be where I am today. He helps me balance home life and allows me the space I need to explore my creativity. He (and his belly) are also my #1 fans
Los Angeles Entrepreneur Magazine