I am a hardcore food fanatic. My body is my temple and I try very hard to treat it as such. This includes eating healthfully – I try very hard to eat locally, sustainably and ethically. Others see me as a food snob. Hmmm? Maybe. But mostly, I am fanatic for fabulous food. What I put in my body is of paramount importance to me.
HOW I GOT TO BE A FOOD FANATIC
I grew up eating exotic and fancy food whenever I had the chance. Unusual for a little kid back in the olden days, my mom taught me to love good food from the time I started teething. For birthdays she would take me to Trader Vic’s or Nantucket Cove. The former served all manner of Asian delicacies and the latter specialized in crustaceans. For special occasions, we were often asked what restaurant we wanted to go to. I always named the fancy French place where they specialized in rich and saucy foods.
While other kids were eating things that came from cans, my mom was buying whatever she could find that was fresh (a true feat in the late 50s). On the weekends in summer, our family would take long drives out to “the country” and find as many farm stands as we could in order to buy the best produce our area had to offer. At the grocery store, my mother would buy everything exotic she saw, just so we could give it a try. I ate and loved avocados, artichokes and all things green and fresh. I loved liver with onions, beef tongue and duck a l’orange!
HOW I LEARNED TO COOK
Mom was a great cook (well, aren’t all moms?) and along with the traditional Jewish dishes she learned from her mother and grandma, she also figured out how to prepare the aforementioned exotic dishes. She always encouraged me to be with her in the kitchen, gladly telling me how to work some culinary magic, giving me tasks to learn by and having me assist her. I knew if something was short on sugar or needed salt. I knew when something was ready to come off the heat. I learned, I loved, I tasted everything.
I started cooking without my mother’s help when I was about 12 years old. It was at this age that my mother divorced my dad and suddenly life was very different. With custody of 4 children, mom went to work. My older sister was the baby sitter and I became the cook. Somebody had to make dinner because mom did ‘t get home until later. I took on the job – I loved to cook – this never seemed like a burden to me. And, because she was pretty broke back then, I learned the many virtues of ground beef and tuna fish, while dreaming of lamb chops and lobster.
FABULOUS FOOD FANATIC
As the years went by and I had my own life, my own family and my own responsibility, my love of food just grew. I have had the good fortune to travel the globe and experience exotic culinary delights I never could have imagined. I have been a serious cook and a hardcore food enthusiast for as long as I can recall. I have no formal training in the culinary arts. Sure, I have taken little classes at the local culinary stores and once, I even spent a week at the venerable Culinary Institute of America. (In fact, I am going back to the CIA in a few weeks and I will be telling you as much as I can about that experience.) I read as much as I can (Michael Pollan is my hero), and I spend tons of time out in the food blogosphere.
I thought it was high time I put in my two cents! I hope you are entertained and that from time to time I give you some fabulous food for thought. I also hope that as the mood strikes you, you will join in the discussion.