First impressions are so important, so let’s skip the awkward and love me already ok? Can we just be friends now, so I can get the ball rolling and not freak out about you liking me? Let’s just have an agreement that if you’re reading this, you like me. Ok? Ok.
If you know me, and associate with me then you most likely already have a glass of wine poured. If not go get one. All first dates should have a glass of wine involved. Either before, after, or during, it should happen. So if you don’t already, go get one and come back. I’ll wait.
Got one? Good. Is it a heavy pour? Good. Let’s talk.
Welcome to my blog! I am so excited that you’ve taken a moment out of your day to come spend a moment with me! I feel like it’s important to get three things out of the way before we really get to know each other. I wish all first dates were this straight forward. Let’s get a few blemishes out of the way first shall we?
1. I curse. So, if that offends you, I would ask you kindly to stop reading. You uptight bastard. Date over. Leave the wine.
2. I am a yankee, but I live in the south, but I was raised by a southern woman with southern traditions. I feel this makes me “southern-ish”. Aka I say “Y’all” and “Schlep”. I was born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and spent every summer of my life and eventually went to college in Charleston South Carolina, where I now live. I’m all kinds of sass. (See above)
3. This is a food blog, but I reserve the right to blog about other topics. I go on rants. Often. So please do not “fence me in”. This blog is for my and your entertainment. Don’t take me too seriously. I don’t.
If you are still reading you’ve accepted my conditions! Yay! Let the butter, salt, and more butter commence!
To say I love food is an enormous understatement. I am obsessed, consumed, and ruled by all things relating to food. I read about food, I talk about food, I think about food, I write about food. I make my living with food. I am a Chef. For real. I went to school for it. ( yeah after college, thanks Mom and Dad!) I studied under famous Chefs all around New York City. I ran a restaurant in CT. I had a short lived cake business. But all of that, impressive as it may sound means nothing. Alright it means everything. My resume and whatever, but the truth is I am good at cooking because I cook. I cook everyday. I also am surrounded and grew up around really great home cooks. Yeah I worked for Daniel Boulud. He’s amazing. But I’d take my momma’s baked ziti over his Foie Gras any day… well maybe. You get it.
Here’s my story. I grew up in a town call Montclair in New Jersey. If you’ve ever been there, then you already know how fantastic it is! It was called the Uber West Side of New York City. All towns in New Jersey claim to be “just outside of the city”, but mine really was. What that meant is that we had all sorts of people living in it. I like to describe my town as a piece of Jazz music. Sure it looks all over the map, but really all together it is something really beautiful. Commuters lived there and brought their amazing City culture with them. We have some AMAZING restaurants, art museums, shops, you name it! It’s where the city folk come to raise their children. I was very lucky to live there. It is extremely culturally diverse too. I feel this is important because it makes me who I am. I’m a boring white girl, however I was lucky enough to be around people from all cultures, meaning I went to several houses of worship, not just my local Catholic Church. My father is Polish, my mother southern American. He speaks three languages. Almost all of my friends were Jewish growing up, so I got to gorge on some of the most authentic Jew food around. YUM! I also had a bunch of Korean friends growing up, and later fell in love with K Town in NYC. Eastern European food was a fixture at our table at home, along with fried chicken, collards, and red rice.
My mother makes the best peach cobbler in the world. My father can’t cook anything, but he is a HUGE food enthusiast. I had my third birthday at Le Circ, at the bar, sitting on folded napkins because they didn’t have a high chair. My father influenced everything I love and hold dear about culture. Like most little girls, I was obsessed with Daddy. But not like most little girls, we didn’t ever do “kid stuff”. Instead of Chucky Cheese, we went to see the NYC Ballet or the opera at The Met. He never took me for pizza, we went to the best French and Italian restaurants NYC could offer. That was my first exposure to food. My dad’s favorite quote, “Food doesn’t just have to be fuel.”
Love that guy.
My mom is a domestic goddess. Alright, maybe not domestic goddess, but 100% a Food Goddess. ( Don’t let her iron or do laundry, but if she offers to make you dinner, run, don’t walk to her house!) She is an authority on Italian food. She is totally in love with all things Italy. But we aren’t a lick of Italian. However, as one of my Chefs once put, ” You know this girl is from Jersey because she can pronounce Mozzarella right.” (Moo-tz.)
My mother makes a series of pasta courses that my father and I dream about. Her mushroom pasta, her baked ziti, her ragu. Lord almighty. We aren’t even talking about her Veal Picatta, or Osso Bucco. Anything that lady decides to put on the table is a winner. Not to mention, her signature red lips or diamonds. A Glam-a-zon in her element. She is also a pretty good writer 🙂
I met the love of my life at culinary school. He is Italian for real. 100%. Carmine. So handsome. He comes from the biggest bunch of loving Italian food people I’ve ever met. His family is the opposite of mine in all the right places. With his family and mine I am the luckiest girl in the world. You don’t know how much love can do until you are loved by an Italian. I am lucky enough to get to love Carmine and his whole family. They have two fantastic restaurants up in CT. Their pizza should be illegal it’s so good. Carmine does’t read enough, so I can say this here: he is the most talented chef I know. He is bossy, he is demanding, and down right terrifying in the kitchen. But, in life he is the sweetest, most generous, and kind person I’ve ever met. I love him with all of my heart. That’s why a few days ago, when he got down on one knee, I jumped and screamed YES as loud as I could! Which is loud y’all.
Food and I don’t have the greatest past though. As a teenager I struggled with a terrible eating disorder, because I wanted to be a professional ballerina. However, I got injured. Then I started eating. Once I realized what I had been denying myself…well the rest is history.
Food doesn’t entertain me, it inspires me. A good recipe is like a great story or a love affair. Something to remember forever, and try to recreate over and over. Food is like music. Food is art. Food is love and my religion. I am consumed, and I’m not sorry. I get excited about cookbooks and new restaurants like people await concerts of their favorite pop star. Mario Batali is my Justin Timberlake. I collect food magazines like baseball cards. Totally obsessed.
I am lucky enough to get to do what I love for money too! I teach cooking classes which is a gift ya’ll. I get to share what I love most with people. How cool is that? Sure beats working the lines, for 90 hours a week, in 101degrees with screaming boys and flames…and knives. Please. I now get an AC, a steady paycheck, health insurance, and I get to chat! Lovely! I do really enjoy it. I am so blessed.
So now I am writing a blog dedicated to my true love: food. The art of food. The romance of it. Sharing my obsession with the cyber universe. I’m excited.