CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Since leaving DeSales University in 2011, Chef Eliza Martin has traveled the country cooking for some of the top restaurants and teaching with the James Beard Foundation.

Her love of food started when the theater and communications major moved to New York.

"Because like any good actress I was a bartender and just kind of found myself wandering into back of house every place I was working," Martin said.

The love for food grew. Martin even competed on and won the Food Network show Chopped.

"I believe in bringing food to life. Any way we can do that is so meaningful," Martin said. 

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the chef has been giving back to the community by holding virtual cooking classes.

It's a model she started with families from the children's culinary school she works for in San Francisco. She's now helping the DeSales community.

"It's really important for people to I think come together in some way and for me the only language of love I know is food so that's all I can give," Martin said.

The class has been going for a few weeks. They've already made macaroni and cheese and this Wednesday "we're doing nachos but we are going to do it in a really fun way," Martin said.

Martin is hoping to do more in the Lehigh Valley once the stay at-home-orders are lifted nationwide.

"This has been really a special starting point, but I think the reach can go even further," Martin said.

The class is an hour long and takes place on the DeSales University Instagram page.