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Marisa Churchill
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Marisa Churchill began to cook as soon as she was old enough to reach the stove. She would spend hours in the kitchen cooking and creating delicious treats with her yιαyιά (Greek grandmother). It was under her loving guidance that she learned how to make yogurt, cure olives, make homemade breads and pastas, and how to create a wide variety of authentic Greek dishes. To this day, both her yιαyιά and the cuisine of Greece have a significant influence on her cooking.

In 1999 Marisa decided to turn a life-long passion for cooking into a career. She moved to San Francisco, and graduated from the California Culinary Academy, later furthering her education in advanced pastry skills and savory cooking at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Over the years Marisa has worked at such notable restaurants as Rubicon, The Slanted Door, Ame, LuLu and Yoshi’s, where she was named “one of the cities top pastry chefs” by the San Francisco Chronicle’s head food critic Michael Bauer.

Seeking some adventure, Marisa took her cooking career to the small screen. Her televised cooking career started with a few local television stints in San Francisco, and then to Top Chef Season 2.Today, you can find Marisa cooking on a variety of shows, including The Talk on CBS. She is also the host of the healthy baking show, My Sweet & Skinny Life, on You Tube and Alpha TV.

After Top Chef, Marisa took her passion for the culinary arts and coupled it with her personal interest in health and fitness and began focusing her attention on using natural ingredients to create recipes that were full of flavor, without all the fat and sugar, proving to be particularly challenging when it came to developing delicious desserts.

Over the years Marisa’s delicious low-fat and sugar-free desserts have continued to grow in popularity. Her low-fat chocolate fudge cake was a huge hit on Top Chef and was later featured in Food & Wine. Marisa received her nutrition certification through Cornell University. She is the author of Sweet & Skinny. This deliciously colorful cookbook features 100 delicious, but skinny, desserts. There are even sugar-free recipes, made with Truvia natural sweetener, for those of her friends, and those of you, who can’t have sugar.

Marisa’s work has been featured in several publications including: Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, People, Details, Shape, Food Arts, and the San Francisco Chronicle. As well as internationally in Elle magazine, Eleutherotipia and Zaxaroplastiki. When Marisa is not in the kitchen she can usually be found enjoying her sport of choice, swimming. Or, she is traveling throughout the islands of Greece, giving cooking lessons, or just relaxing on a beach.

Entries by Marisa Churchill

Perfect Sweet & Skinny Cake for Mother's Day

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 11:09 AM


On Mother's Day I will be doing a pop-up at Amaryllis Cafe in Kifissia, Greece. Unfortunately, that might be a bit too far for some of you to take mom on her special day. But fear not, you can still give mom a...

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Greek Innovation in a Time of Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 1:03 PM


Once again the spotlight is shining on Greece. The world is watching with anticipation to see who will win the standoff in Europe, David or Goliath? I too, am waiting with bated breath. There is no doubt that the financial crisis and austerity...

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Exploring Copenhagen

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 6:46 PM


I recently bought a new cookbook! I have more cookbooks than a library has books, so that's hardly a worthy announcement. The reason this particular cookbook deserves mentioning is because I bought it in Copenhagen, and the book is in Danish. I...

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Refreshing Cucumber Lemonade Recipe

(1) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 10:01 AM


I'm embarking on an exciting new journey! I've been in the studio filming 20 episodes of my new healthy baking show, My Sweet & Skinny Life. Yay! It's an exciting process. I'll be sure to update you all further as this project progresses....

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Best Holiday Recipes

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 9:40 AM

It's that time of year again, and with the holidays in full swing there will be parties galore! What I'm hoping this holiday season won't bring is more of the same old salty finger foods and cocktails that you see at parties every year. Of course we're not all chefs...

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Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Dessert

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 9:51 AM


This year, I won't get to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family. But that's not stopping me from celebrating altogether! In fact, it's kind of nice not to have to worry about making the rolls, the turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes and the...

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Tahini & Farro Granola Bars

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 10:41 AM


My friend Katerina recently brought me some tahini from the island of Crete. It's much darker than the tahini you usually find in the supermarkets and the flavor is certainly richer. This is due in part to the fact that the sesame seeds...

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The Chocolate of Spain

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 10:57 AM


When you're in another country even the mundane, like using the metro, can become an exciting new experience. Of course, in a city as magical as Barcelona, the extraordinary beckons you at every corner.

It was on one of these street corners, heading...

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Ancient Grain Mixed Berry Crisp Recipe

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 10:31 AM


At the start of the year I wrote a Huffington Post blog about food trends. At the top of my list were ancient grains. They definitely have become the culinary star this year! Since I put so much focus on healthy eating, this...

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Napa Valley, Perfect Weekend Getaway

(1) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 1:20 PM


The recent 6.0 earthquake that shook the Napa Valley left in its wake $1 billion dollars worth of damages and lost revenue. Much of that lost revenue stems not from businesses that closed, but from the loss of valuables wines, and of course,...

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Watermelon & Jalapeno Spoon Sweet Recipe

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 2:44 PM

When it comes to making new friends I often fall short. For starters, I typically don't engage in idle chitchat with strangers, allowing potential connections and friendships to pass me by. I have often wished that I could be a bit more like my mother. If you put that woman...

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The Bay Area's Homeless Cook Their Way to a Fresh Start

(1) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 5:15 PM

(A student picking Swiss chard in the Fresh Start culinary garden)

"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with...

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Coconut Lime Birthday Cake

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 2:03 PM

My German grandmother's 100th birthday is coming up in a few weeks. Naturally, I have been tasked with making the birthday cake for the big day! My grandmother is not a chocolate fan, which I try not to hold against her. I suppose, even if I think she's missing out,...

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The Fantastic World of Barton G

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 11:10 AM

When Charlie Bucket first stepped into the Wonka factory in the original Charlie & The Chocolate Factory film, he entered a garden filled with edible buttercups and chocolate streams, and my culinary fantasies were ignited. I dreamt of winning a golden ticket and discovering a place just as sweet, just...

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Simple Summer Treats

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 10:04 PM


Now that summer is finally here, I've been doing a lot of outdoor cooking. I'll take any excuse to fire up the grill instead of turning on the oven! The one exception for turning on the oven is when I'm making whoopie pies....

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The Best Spots To Eat & Drink In Athens

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 4:55 PM

I spend a lot of time in Greece, especially in Athens, where I have friends and family. My familial roots (on my mother's side, hence the last name of Churchill and not Paraskevopoulos) always seem to draw me back. But I'd like to think that even if I didn't have...

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Sour Cherry Cheesecake for the 4th of July!

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 5:21 PM

As I drove to Monemvasia, I kept thinking about something my friend Katilena had said to me before I left Athens. Katilena has this wonderful British-Greek accent. When she speaks it's like listening to a young Judi Dench, if Dame Judi had spent years speaking a romance language like Greek....

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Chocolate Pudding: The Perfect Dessert in a Jar

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 3:28 PM

I have a problem. Depending on who you ask, they might say I have more than one, but right now I'm referring to my inability to say no to any food that is presented to me in a jar. I first spotted this trend three years ago, at a restaurant...

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PB&J Popsicles

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 11:15 AM

After last week's trip to the villages of Zagorohoria I have been obsessed with using the local honey I purchased. If you happened to read last week's post about my traipsing up a goat path in search of local honey, then you can probably imagine why I'm putting it in...

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The Villages of Zagorohoria

(4) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 7:56 PM


Although I consider myself to be a city girl at heart, there are only so many days of crowded metro rides that I can take before I need to get away. Let's just say when the urge to get away hits, it's time...

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