Ever since I was a kid I’ve been in the kitchen. It wasn’t that I was helping since I didn’t even make my first Top Ramen until the age of 12 but I’ve always found home where the food happened to be. I remember getting kicked out of the kitchen before Christmas dinner for stealing Pillsbury crescent rolls before my grandmother could put them out. I began to cook as a means for surviving long summers when my parents were at work because we were sadly bereft of Lunchables and other instantly satisfying foodstuffs. Besides, ramen was cheap and easy for my brother and I so we liked it. We eventually got more daring and broke out the Betty Crocker Kids Cookbook but it would be long before I found myself studying the complex tastes of world cuisine and the knife skills of Morimoto. I had simple beginnings and I will never lose sight of that. Now as a young and budding chef I’ve found a beautiful balance in the food that we make; where human ingenuity, creativity, and survival instincts collide. Everyone uses each of these traits to various degrees while cooking and that’s something that ties all of humanity together. You can make arguments for what people enjoy but we can all agree that everybody loves to eat.
I’ve found that humans as a species find comfort in food that goes beyond the sustenance that it was meant to be for our ancestors. We’ve built culture around what we eat and the ambassadors of the world appear in kitchens more readily than in embassies. However, heritage is but a small part of humanity that cooking represents. The beauty of food is in what it means both to the chef and to the person eating it. A dish can bring back memories both happy and sad, it can bring people together in celebration or mourning, and it can be anywhere from an exhibition of culinary excellence to an utter disaster. What’s on the plate at every meal is the human experience. When a cook makes a dish, whether they are proud of it or not, they really are putting their life on the line. Their memories cooking with their family, their personal expertise, and the fire of their spirit are given to a complete stranger in the hopes that their trust has been rightfully placed. It’s so wonderful that someone can make themselves fully vulnerable to another human being in such an intimate way. My goal is to search for people willing to push their passion forward and to share their love with the world using the medium that I know best: food.
I am going to find culinary greatness in every crack of the world that I can; from the proud home cooks of Louisiana to the executive chefs of Paris to the open markets of Thailand. It will not only be a journey of self-discovery but a chance to give that greatness to the world where it has not yet been. So pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and smile wide my friends; the next great dish is coming right up!