Ingrid Forte Stevens was born in San Francisco, California in 1947 to Portuguese parents who were in America while her father was taking a class. Her father was an officer in the Portuguese navy, and was soon stationed in the Portuguese colonies. After a time in Portugal the family lived in Angola for two years and then Mozambique from 1955. They stayed there for five years until the war of independence broke out.
Her father was opposed to the fascist regime and to fighting against people fighting for their independence. The military allowed him to retire, and because Ingrid was born in the United States, the family was able to return to California. Ingrid met her husband Vic while she was at California State Fullerton and they were married in 1969. They attended graduate school in Washington State so they wouldn’t be too far from the border, just in case Vic got drafted. Ingrid studied comparative literature in four languages – Spanish, Portuguese, French and English and got her MA there.
In 1972 they moved to Portland where Vic got a job teaching at Reed College. Just as Ingrid was giving birth to her first child in 1974, the fascist regime in Portugal fell and her father was asked to come back and be reinstated in the Navy to head up a naval shipyard.
Ingrid taught languages at Portland Community College, but after her daughter was born in 1978 began a catering business, which was more conducive to raising a family and more in line with her passion… cooking. She learned a lot from her mother who was a superb cook (“she used so much parsley; it was like a vegetable to her”), and was super vigilant about beautiful plating and freshness. Ingrid would never hesitate to call her when she felt like she was forgetting an ingredient or needed a refresher course.
Ingrid has always been involved in politics and campaigns but is now enjoying her retirement and grandchildren. She and Vic travel frequently but when Ingrid’s home, she’s cooking up a storm!