Lesley Headshot

Lesley Balla

location-pin Seattle, Washington

School: Ohio University

Expertise: Cooking techniques; Baking; Beer, wine & cocktails; Food news; Grocery shopping; Restaurants; Travel

Lesley Balla

  • More than 20 years in food, lifestyle and hospitality publishing, including writing for brands like Taste of Home, Resy, 10Best, Food Fanatics, The Seattle Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles magazine, Modern Luxury's Angeleno and LA Weekly
  • Radio guest on KCRW’s “Good Food” with Evan Kleiman, covering various food, restaurant and drink topics, 2007-2019
  • Oversaw digital outlets for well-known brands, including the Los Angeles editions of Eater and Zagat
  • 10 years in the restaurant industry working every shift possible, from cooking to serving and bartending


As an associate food editor for Taste of Home, Lesley writes and edits recipes, works closely with our freelance writers, and tracks cooking and food trends. After working in hospitality for a decade, Lesley has reported on the food industry for national, regional and local print and digital publications for over 20 years.

Throughout her career, she’s highlighted famous and unsung culinary heroes, featured up-and-coming wine and spirits destinations, and closely followed the food scenes and chefs in many cities. Her cooking style has been influenced by the places she's lived, including a long stint in Southern California, where she still visits as often as possible, if only for the citrus and avocados.

When not at her desk, you’ll find Lesley taking photos of everything, hitting farmers markets, baking something delicious at home, and road-tripping around the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their bottled-chaos pup, Pucci, shucking oysters and cracking crabs along the way.


  • Ohio University, bachelor's in English
  • Mt. Hood Community College, Connoisseur of Oregon Wine certificate
  • University of Washington, coursework in Storytelling & Content Strategy

Taste of Home Editorial Policies

Taste of Home, a Trusted Media Brand, has been a reliable source for recipes, cooking tips and entertaining advice for more than 30 years. Every month, our content inspires well over 20 million home cooks to get creative in the kitchen. Each one of our 40 thousand recipes has gone through a rigorous testing and approval process to ensure we’re sharing the very best. Every snack, ingredient and product we recommend is tested by our team of culinary experts and professional product testers—the best of the best earn our Test Kitchen-Preferred seal of approval. Learn more about Taste of Home and our Test Kitchen and editorial teams.

Articles & Recipes

Chocolate Liqueur

With so many types of chocolate liqueurs on store shelves, how do you choose? When you make it yourself using


If you grew up in the Rust Belt of the United States, you might have eaten haluski regularly. The dish


You know it’s the Christmas season when panettone sits at the end of the grocery aisles. But the fruit-studded bread