LOURDES CASTRO was born and raised in Miami, where she founded the Ars Magirica Cooking School and served as a personal chef and nutritionist for numerous high-profile clients. A former associate of the James Beard Foundation, she is a regular contributor to the New York Social Diary’s dining section and has taught in the food studies department at Johnson & Wales University. Castro currently teaches food science at New York University and is the director of the Culinary Academy at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. She is also an active member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. She lives in New York City.