Hello everyone and welcome to my blog, "THE DANCER'S PANTRY"!

My name is Chelsea Farrah Koptke... 


I am a professional ballroom dancer, certified plant-based chef, pickled food lover, wife, and proud Sacramento-born resident.


My love for food, like my love of dance, started at the age of 4. Growing up in a Jewish household, food, family, and the joy both brought to my life, became the foundation of my desire to learn more about food.


During my time as a competitive ballroom dancer, my dance partner (now husband and Sommelier) and I traveled to cities all over the US. One of the ways we learned about each new city was to explore the food scenes and taste the local cuisine. Our travels and the experiences we shared shaped my appreciation for not only world cuisine, but local and American cuisine as well. 

During our 10 year professional, competitive career, I began to notice health issues (specifically digestive) directly related to my consumption of meat products.  As I did more research into the meat industry, the decision to become vegetarian was actually quite quick and simple... to maintain my health, to live a cruelty free-life, and to leave a smaller footprint on our beautiful planet. 


While the decision to become a vegetarian was easy given everything I had learned, I was also aware of potential challenges it might present in my day-to-day eating. My mother, a vegetarian of over 30 years, often struggled to find restaurants that offered more than just "fries and a salad" as an entree option and I too, began to encounter similar limitations. Even cookbooks I owned were heavily focused on meat-based recipes, and delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes were hard to come by.


In 2019, I enrolled in Rouxbe Culinary school's "Professional Plant-Based Certification Program", because I wanted to make flavorful, satisfying, nutritious food not only for myself but for my family and friends. 


The tools I received through my schooling gave me the confidence to work with plant-based ingredients to create appetizing food that is yummy for everyone... even carnivores!  

This blog, like a piece of choreography, will always be evolving. I will post recipes I have created, and recipes I have adapted, and share them with you. 


Thank you for stepping into my pantry. Food, like dance, has the power to heal, connect, provoke, and excite us, literally awakening the body, mind, and soul.

I look forward to hearing about each of your personal connections with food, your "secret" family recipes, and the stories that go with them. 


To learn a little more about me, click the link below to listen to a podcast interview where I am discussing my dance career, the transition from ballet to ballroom, and my transition into food blogging and a vegetarian lifestyle.


Click this link to download and listen: 


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