First lets start with the name (mine.) It was the name of the chef/owner of an Eponymous restaurant where my parents went for dinner on their first wedding anniversary. It was also the first time my father saw a dessert cart.
I guess you could say I was destined for it. Maybe that explains my love of cooking and restaurants as well as my insatiable sweet tooth, undying culinary curiousity and a disturbing predisposition to overindulge. As one who loves to travel and loves to eat, I a can not separate one from the other, and am at my happiest when doing both together.
Hence, maybe it was no surprise that I after I completed my Ivy League education I decided to become a chef, and that after culinary school I went first to France and then to Italy. When I wasn’t working, I was on the road, working towards my goal of visiting 30 countries by my 30th birthday.
Eventually I settled in San Francisco, where I spent five years as a restaurant consultant, working closely with chefs and restaurateurs, eating and drinking in restaurants of all caliber and category. But after eight years in that spectacular city I left to pursue a dream, one that had been fixed in my mind for over 10 years. I moved to Italy. So I find myself here now, eating, drinking, and every so often catching a glittering glimpse of a culture, of a world, very different from my own.
A shared meal builds more bonds than a shared language; when you open your mouth to try someone’s food, you are opening your mind to their ideas and opinions. Food is integral to understanding a person’s culture. To eat is to experience, to appreciate with all the senses. To travel is to open your mind, to discover that everything you know, or thought you knew, isn’t what it seems.
Food (or wine, and especially wine!) is never just the flavor itself, but also the sum of the experience. It is colored by your mood, your surroundings, you company, and your state of being. Food is also subject to a culture, its expectations and its experiences; just as we, as people, are subject to our expectations and experiences, we evaluate a food, a drink or a place.