Recently chosen from more than 10,000 chefs and home cooks to be a contestant on ABC’s “The Taste”, Erika Monroe-Williams, has been cooking up a storm most of her life. Beginning at an early age, she helped her mother in the kitchen and recalls every night being an occasion at the dinner table. As an adult, Erika now tries to bring that same spirit to her own family’s dinner table – but not without some hiccups along the way. To anyone who has ever felt as “hopeless” as she has felt in the kitchen at one time or another, Erika would like to share her cooking secrets with you.
In addition to her competing on “The Taste” for ABC, Erika has recently hosted cooking segments on “E! News”, Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family”, LA’s #1 morning show, the “KTLA Morning News”, “Fox 5 Morning News” San Diego, ”San Diego Living”, Phoenix’s ”Good Morning Arizona” and “Sonoran Living Live”. Erika has also graced the cover of So Scottsdale! Magazine, and has been featured as a cooking expert on eHow.com, TheDailyMeal.com, About.com, Allyou.com , DinnerTool.com, Momfuse.com and Blisstree.com as well as many other food and cooking blogs. Erika was also recently named one of SkinnyScoop.com‘s “Tastemakers”.
Erika’s fun and inventive recipes are beginning to be seen everywhere, and were included in People Magazine‘s favorite Super Bowl recipes alongside Emeril Lagasse, John Elway, Bobby Flay, Jessica Simpson and Rocco DiSpirito. She will also be featured in upcoming issues of Celebrity Cooking Magazine and Grilling Magazine.
Growing up primarily in Southern California, Erika saw the amazing weather as an opportunity to have many dinner parties at her home, or anywhere she could bring food and people together. Even with the experience throughout the years, Erika has still found herself feeling “hopeless and overwhelmed” in the kitchen at times, especially when everyday life and career make for a busy schedule. It’s for this reason that Erika has developed many recipes and “tricks” to prepare a fabulous meal for the busiest of people, and those who appreciate delicious food, and the happy moments of sharing a beautiful spread with friends and family. This doesn’t mean that she hasn’t ruined a dish or two during the process… “My husband always jokes that I create fabulous dinners, but not before a pot has over-boiled or something has burned along the way. I think it’s important for people to know that it’s normal to make mistakes in the kitchen and not be deterred by it! I try not to take myself too seriously in the kitchen – I try to make it fun.”
Erika started her career as a television News Anchor, moving from Los Angeles to Lubbock, Texas in 2000 to work for KJTV. She eventually went on to Phoenix, becoming the Weekend Anchor at powerhouse station KTVK and anchoring “Good Evening Arizona”, and “The News Show”. When filling in for other anchors during the week, she’d always jump at the chance to work on “Good Day Arizona” because she loved doing the cooking segments. “I’d always want to push the chef aside and get to work on the dish!”. Erika has also co-hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pre-game show, “DBacks on Deck”, with her husband, 5-time All-Star 3rd Baseman, Matt Williams.
Before becoming a television personality, Erika worked in public relations at HBH PR in Los Angeles with power publicists Stephen Huvane, Robin Baum and Simon Halls. The firm represented many celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Russell Crowe. While working, Erika was also studying journalism, but still found time to host numerous dinner parties for friends and entertainment industry people, many of whom suggested she should have her own cooking show. The idea had been forever imbedded into the back of her mind, even throughout her news career.
Erika is currently authoring her own cookbook and is expected to be ready for publication by winter of 2013. It will be filled with a plethora of mouth watering recipes and easy tips for the everyday housewife to embrace the road to domestic bliss.
A newbie to food photography, Erika has been working hard to shoot all the photos of her food for TheHopelessHouseife.com. Her photos have been well-received and have become a regular on the elusive food photography websites FoodGawker.com, TasteSpotting.com, Tasteologie and Serious Eats’s Photograzing.
Erika and her husband Matt currently live in Paradise Valley, Arizona with their 9-year old daughter, Madison, who also loves to be in the kitchen too, just like mom!