I think there is a fine line between a foodie (where I hope I fall) and a food snob (how I suspect some folks would describe me). Have I boycotted a restaurant because it does not whip its own cream and instead uses that artificial canned product? Guilty as charged. But have I enjoyed a slice of greasy pizza on the streets of New York City? That is also true! I simply love good food, in its many forms and locales, and I view it as much more than fuel for my body. It is something to be savored, shared, and thoroughly enjoyed. I love eating out and anticipating great meals made by chefs whose culinary skills far surpass my own, or discovering little holes in the wall that specialize in recipes that are rich in culture and history, and I consider it completely worthwhile to drive way out of my way to sample something that I have read about or someone has recommended to me.
I also love cooking. I suspect that appreciating good food is probably a launching pad for most good cooks. We want to replicate what we’ve had, we want to experiment and learn, but mostly we just want to ensure that what we are eating and serving others is tasty and interesting. Cooking is definitely one of my love languages. It is how I express creativity and how I bring people together and most of all how I show those who are the recipients of what I am making that I care about them and they are most definitely worth the effort.
One of my greatest sources of pride as a parent (and let the record reflect that my three kids have provided me with plenty of fodder) is that my son Noah has followed in my foodie footsteps. He appreciates good food as much as I do, and we are each other’s go to in sharing pics and stories of great food we have enjoyed or made. We each have our areas of specialty. I am a more seasoned baker, but Noah is way more knowledgeable about meats and has now added sous-videing to his repertoire. Neither of us is professionally trained and are pretty much self-taught. I have shared some of my home cooking skills with folks in informal classes and I used to run cooking camps for kids in the summers. I also won a cooking competition in 2006 that not only earned me the title of Charlotte’s Best Home Chef but a new kitchen (so that I now have access to a double oven and a gas range to churn out my culinary creations.) Noah is fearless in the kitchen, and is much more adept at researching and studying techniques and ingredients. He also wrote a blog a few years ago chronicling his attempt at making something from each episode of Top Chef, a cooking competition show on Bravo that we both obsessively watch and discuss.
So that is what we each bring to the table, literally and figuratively. We are going to use this space to share our love of food and our passion for making it. We will share pics and stories and tips and recipes. Or we will simply rave about meals we have enjoyed that have been made for us. We hope you will enjoy and share our kinship in the kitchen.
I cannot fathom a time where I wasn’t obsessed with food. Not to say that I was always a cook, but I would be hard pressed to find an age where I did not have strong opinions about what I was eating. I mean, what sort of seven year old says his favorite food is mussels? The kind who grows up to be an unabashed foodie, apparently.
I obviously inherited a bit of the food snobbery from my wonderful mom. When homemade gnocchi is a staple of your childhood, you really can’t help it. Our shared love of great food was a big part of our relationship growing up. We’d go to fantastic restaurants together, watch Top Chef every week, and fantasize about our dream meals. As I got older and started cooking on my own, that bond only strengthened. We’d share recipes and food pics, and call each other from the grocery store to menu plan.
While I credit my mom with paving the way and instilling my appreciation for cooking, I forged my own path as far as my kitchen skills go. I picked up a lot of them from the internet, going down rabbit holes on youtube of different recipes and chefs. I kept pushing myself to try new things in college (I think I am probably the only student to ever trip the dorm’s smoke detectors while frying calamari) and got more comfortable in the kitchen. These days I push myself to do more and more adventurous things in the kitchen; I love working new, fun tools into my repertoire (my current favorites are my sous vide, ice cream machine, and pasta maker). I’m so excited to go on this adventure, and see what great stuff we can cook up!