A lawyer by training, Emily Paster launched a second career in
food writing and social media when she started her website West of the Loop,
which was named a Top Mommy Blog by Time Out Chicago Kids and a “Family Food Blog to Savor” by Red Tricycle. Emily also
writes about food and entertaining for Chicago Parent magazine.
One of Emily’s areas of expertise is home food preservation
and she teaches canning classes and demonstrations at farmers’ markets,
grocery stores and libraries around the Chicago area. Emily also appears
regularly on Chicago-area television and radio, including WCIU’s “You & Me This Morning,” Fox News’s “Good Day Chicago” and local NPR affiliate WBEZ’s “The Morning Shift.”
Emily’s passion for celebrating home cooks led her to
co-found the ChicagoFood Swap in 2011. A must-attend event for food lovers, the Chicago
Food Swap brings together home cooks and gardeners every month to trade and barter
their homemade and homegrown foods. Emily’s first book, a guide on how to join the food swap movement,
will be published by Storey Publishing in spring 2016.
Emily lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and their
two school-aged children.