Just pinch me…..inspiring delightful moments with food.
The most magical moments in my life occur when I am sharing delicious food with cherished friends and family, dining al fresco by twinkling candlelight, listening to just the right mix of music and of course, breaking open a great bottle of wine. Laughing, talking, sharing and connecting. The feelings of joy and contentment always make me think “just pinch me…this is the best!”
I like to cook from scratch using the freshest and tastiest ingredients. I try to keep it simple and steer away from overly complicated recipes. I use real food when I cook like flour, salt, carrots, onions, eggs and butter. If I had a magic wand, I would wave it and make all the junky, processed food go away. Real food is healthier and tastes so much better.
I didn’t cook much growing up. As a young adult I jumped in, started cooking and had my fair share of complete disasters. Luckily, I had friends who were more comfortable and talented in the kitchen and kept inspiring me. I kept at it and learned from my mistakes. One happy day I realized my kitchen and cooking skills had finally caught up with my passion for cooking!
So….the next logical step would be to enroll in a rigorous professional culinary program, right? Well, maybe not a logical step, but that’s what I did. I could write a book regaling you with my culinary school escapades, but many others have done that before me. However, I do have to share this one story:
During the first week of culinary school we had to share our previous professional background, explain why we enrolled in the culinary program and also what we hoped to do with our degree once we graduated. My “knock your socks off” two minute elevator speech went something like this:
“Right now I am a stay at home Mom with three kids. I am getting ready to go back to work and start my second career. During my first career (before I stepped out to concentrate on raising my family), I spent ten years working in financial management at a fortune five hundred corporation. I’ve always loved food and home cooking and I want to challenge myself to learn all there is to know. Once I graduate from culinary school, I hope to start my next career combining my new culinary degree, my business skills and my passion for home cooking.”
My very stern and classically French trained chef professor looked at me and said
“This isn’t Williams and Sonoma”.
In time, I began to understand his point of view. Professional culinary programs are very “restaurant” oriented and not focused on home cooking. However, cooking theory, techniques, flavor profiles and ingredients don’t change that much between professional and home kitchens. Or….how to properly hold a knife and cut an onion. Culinary school was fun, informative and fascinating. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
I live outside of Chicago, one of the greatest food towns in the country. I have an adorable husband who doesn’t cook but always pulls a perfectly paired bottle of wine out of the cellar to enjoy while we eat. My three energetic kids keep me out of my comfort zone and on my toes everyday. Our little Yorkie barks through it all. I feel so blessed by my tribe, my peeps, my cherished friends and family (y’all know who you are).
Since you have read all the way down to the bottom of this page with me, there probably is a little voice inside saying “I want to cook, I want to cook” Well then, let’s jump in!
I hope my blogs inspires you to have many delightful moments with food.
Just pinch me!