Mollenkamp grew up in Southern California and attended Rolling Hills Country Day and Chadwick School in Los Angeles. Before she got interested in cooking, she played soccer, tennis, did classical ballet, and other extracurricular activities including music and volunteering. In high school, a skiing accident rendered her temporarily unable to dance and she turned to cooking as a means of expressing herself creatively.
Mollenkamp attended the Cornell Hotel School and graduated with a B.S. in hospitality management from Cornell University. Following this, she worked in hospitality real estate consulting at Ernst & Young, then moved to Europe, living between Florence, Italy and Paris, France for two years. She attended culinary school and received a Grand Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2004. Over the years, she has worked at several restaurants and hotels in the United States (including Chez Melange, California Pizza Kitchen, and the Hotel Bel-Air, in Los Angeles, California). Following her return to the U.S. in 2005, Mollenkamp became an editor at the San Francisco, California-based CHOW.com online food magazine.
Mollenkamp's first Food Network series, the interactive cooking program Ask Aida, began airing on August 2, 2008 and filmed three seasons. Her second show, FoodCrafters for Food Network’s new sister network, Cooking Channel, debuted May 31, 2010. In FoodCrafters, she leaves the kitchen to uncover handmade food finds from around the nation.
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