Clara Ritger grew up in the small town of Huntington Beach, California, population 200,000, where she learned what real Mexican food tastes like and how to cut the line at Disneyland. At the ripe old age of two she ran as far ahead of her parents as her child leash would take her on the Yosemite trails to ask random strangers questions about why they were hiking and if they would be her friend. Since then, she has continued to ask why but usually refrains from asking subjects during interviews if they want to be her friend.
By high school she learned what a real small town is, after moving to Genoa, Nevada, population 500. She was a very nerdy speech and debater, but collected more trophies in that than she did in soccer and tennis, so she made a point of doing all of them, to, you know, run with the cool crowd too, breaking social barriers and everything you would see in a John Hughes film. She graduated from Douglas High School in 2009 and shipped off to the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Film, Television and Theatre in May 2013. She also has a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy, because why do college if you can’t do it all?
Currently, Clara is a freelance video director and producer based in New York, NY. She works across mediums in digital, TV and film, and has recently worked with ChefsFeed, Food52 and PBS. She has extensive credentials in food and travel storytelling, but is interested more broadly in stories about people and culture. She is a capable one-woman band (see: The Great American Cooking Story) who shoots and edits on smaller projects, but shines when hiring and working with a crew.
Prior to moving to NYC, Clara was based in the Washington, D.C. area as a Producer at Green Buzz Agency, where she created documentary style videos for major brands and nonprofits, including Upworthy and Make-A-Wish. She has also written and/or done multimedia work for National Journal, The Indianapolis Star, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Patriot-News, Morning Call, Capitolwire, Northern Virginia Magazine, 88.1 WVPE NPR, the Reno Gazette-Journal, NDtv News and the oldest collegiate publication in the United States, Scholastic magazine.
Clara really likes coffee, and once bought everything on the menu at Starbucks because she had extra monopoly money at school and wanted to find out what her favorite drink actually was. It cost her $134.80. She also enjoys cooking and a good book. She is not one of those freak people who enjoys running, but she does it anyway, because it is good for you, or something like that. Her middle name is Lucille, which invariably comes up in conversation, so now you know.
Clara does not feel that autobiographies – especially at her age – should be taken seriously.