Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hello and Welcome

I am so excited to be starting a blog. Forgive me because I don’t know all of the etiquette but I will try to stay within the rules (like the internet has many rules). Still, I want to attract a certain type of person to this blog so I’ll wait till later to test my boundaries.

So what’s this new guy to the scene got to say about food that hasn’t been said by many better qualified persons? Hmmm … that’s a great question. I’m not sure my answer will cause my new blog to get many hits but I do have an answer. You see, I want the average guy’s view to be out there a little bigger; a little stronger. I want to take my experiences and passion and shout VERY loudly about how fantastic the celebration of food is in my life. This all started as a simple enjoyment almost 20 years ago and has slowly (very slowly) crept into the fiber of my being. I can’t remember the 1st real nirvana moment but I do remember a few snippets along the way. I realized girls really dug it if a guy cooked for them. OK, this was a huge deal in my early years. Then as relationships turned to family life (those are complex stories that we’ll explore later), I enjoyed having large numbers of people in my house for the holidays. I adored the praises offered over the meals (I was not one of the “my 1st Turkey was a nightmare” crowd). I think I made my 1st large scale successful holiday meal one Easter with little or no help (I liked it that way- and still do). I recall Lamb AND Turkey. Of course, back then every meal was strict to the recipes because my skills were… well… weak. I haven’t followed a recipe (except for baked goods) in at least 5 years, maybe longer. Recipes aren’t rules, they’re suggestions. More on that later. Well that Easter meal was an instant hit and it was sometime around then that cooking and food was an official hobby of mine.

Yeah, I’m just a guy who gets up and goes to work each day. I’m not a chef or a writer or a critic (In fact, I’d be a terrible critic because I like most things I eat). There is one thing about me that stands out and gives just the slightest qualification (OK a stretch but humor me). I travel. I travel a lot. I eat. I eat a lot (shhhh, my doctor just saw my cholesterol and has presented me with the paperwork for a repeat test). Therefore I eat out a lot. Last year I spent about 42 weeks on the road and I’ve indulged different food styles from coast to coast and in several other countries. I have meticulously searched for the best (which is rarely the most expensive) restaurant finds around the country in my travels. After most of these adventures, which sadly are mostly alone, I call the one other “foodie” in my life to share my palate pleasures: my mother. She indulges my description of these gastronomic encounters. She is my food confidant.

The next meager qualification I have is experience. Over the years, I have treated cooking magazines and various cookbooks as textbooks. I don’t just read them. I picture the complexity of ingredients, the potential substitutions and the story I want to tell with my variation. I treat cooking TV shows (which are on most of my waking hours while I’m home), as a classroom. It is not rare for me to see something that one of my favorite TV chefs has made then run to the store to try to recreate my version at once.

Lastly and most importantly, I realized recently that I now see professional chef creations and think to myself, “Wow, this is good but here’s what I would have done to make it even better”. Now while that sounds arrogant and perhaps it is, to me it’s just a sign of the evolution from a novice, to a seasoned food and cooking lover. My last challenge will be to put my thoughts into this blog regularly and make it have meaning for the reader. Hopefully that will be true. Today’s homemade culinary excursion was Duck and Smoked Gouda Ravioli in a Brown Butter with Crispy Sage (Recipe will be available soon).

Well… goodbye for now. My next segment will be about cookbooks and how they can be used as fantastic tools. I really want to write about the 2 cookbooks that meant the most to me as I was breaking from RAS (Recipe Adherence Syndrome).

OH… I forgot!!!! Most importantly!!!! This site will eventually share many recipes so feel free to send me any favorites.

Chow Bella

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Hey Louis! Talk about STEAK. I grilled and peppered a filet..wow