cooking

As much as I enjoy eating food, it is cooking and specifically cooking for others that energizes me.  My love of food is grounded in the pleasure that goes with sharing what I really enjoy eating with others, and what I love is big bold food.  From the deep, braised meat flavors of a short rib or osso buco dish, to the subtle spicyness and overwhelming freshness of mexican food and the simplicity of rustic italian food, the common thread is bold.

As a child I remember early mornings whereby I was awakened by the smells eminating from the kitchen at my grandmother’s house.  I remember the kitchen being my destination, and short of helping dad and grandpa drive the tractor, being the place that I spent a good portion of my time when visiting them.  It was here that my love of food and of cooking started.  From my vantage point as a 5 year old standing on a chair in front of the kitchen sink, I could see the giant garden from which she drew on for those amazing fresh vegetables, and the proximity of the source was not lost on me.  As I grew up, I was quick to be able to fend for myself in kitchen; however I can’t say it was with an abundance of flavor save for the hot sauce I bathed much of my food in.

I also can’t claim to be a great cook – it took me into my late 20’s to enjoy foie gras, mushrooms and truffle anything.  More to the point, some friends would claim that I famously overcooked my steak and chicken, typically while grilling.  This is in juxtaposition to some of them who prefer blue-rare steak (which in my mind is too rare to allow the real flavor of the meat to surface) and what I refer to as chicken-sushi (whereby I would question whether it really is cooked enough to ).  What I can say, is I’ve come along way, and I don’t think the brick and puck jokes hold up anymore.

As for favorites, I’m a huge fan of Italian food – few cultures take such simply raw ingredients, and through simple technics and handling transform them into such rich, bold meals.  Classic bolognese, which is so oft-butchered outside of Italy to tomato broth, with a perfectly cooked spaghetti or pappardelle is a favorite, as are osso buco, risotto, many veal variations, and cinghale stew or sauce;  cheeses such as Pecorino, Reggiano, and Piave are meals in and of themselves, and the many salami’s make the start of any meal a great one.

Other favorites are Mexican, Italian and classic French Bistro fare.

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