It always seems that chefs, and food writers, and even your average foodies have a great back story as to why they go into food in the first place. Tales of loving Italian Grandmothers, or family vacations in France, or growing up in a big city where they had a world of flavors at their fingertips. Me, I have no idea where this all came from.
I grew up in a flavorless small town in New England. We had four greasy pizza places, an even greasier Chinese restaurant, and a typical Massachusetts fish-and-chips-and-ice-cream drive in shack. My mother is from the "Dump A Box Of Fishsticks On A Cookie Sheet And Call It Good" school of cooking. I don't even know how it started, but as far as I can tell it was because I spent a lot of time at the library. You do that, when you're skinny and tall and kind of weird and poor and nobody invites you to thier house after school. After blowing through all of the fiction (seriously, I read Watership Down in fifth grade), I wandered over to the non-fiction stacks and started leafing through a series of kids' cookbooks that featured recipes from around the world. I didn't get to actually cook any of the dishes in the books, mostly because I had never heard of half the ingredients and also my parents regarded my interest with little more than passing confusion (I once asked for pan-fried shrimp from the Chinese place and my father made a comment on my "expensive tastes"), but I loved the photos of the food and the idea that there was more out there than bright orange mac & cheese.
I left my parents' house when I was 19, moved into a college town, and had sushi for the for the first time. It all snowballed from there. I started working in restaurants, and teaching myself to cook at home. I had kids, and had dreams of raising well-rounded little gourmands...kids who turned up their tiny noses at the mere idea of processed chicken nuggets and who had never heard of Lunchables. They're about halfway there - they do watch TV and you know, leave the house- but way ahead of a lot of their friends in their food repertoire.
I don't cook for a paycheck anymore, so I cook more at home. I'm lucky, because I get to go out to eat pretty often. I travel for work, so I get to try restaurants all over the country (and parts of Canada). I really like to talk about food. My boyfriend tries to humor me, but I can see his eyes glaze over. He just doesn't give a frig about what I read in the latest Food & Wine, and he doesn't want a review of the meal we just had. So here I am, doing what anybody with a free half hour a day and a love of the sound of their own voice would do.......
I started a food blog.