i have always had a borderline unhealthy relationship with food. one of those delicate, allergy-ridden children, i was completely forbidden and then merely cautioned against eating chocolate for the first ten years or so of my life. the level of trauma this inflicted is actually caught on tape: the event, my mother’s 32nd birthday; the cake, chocolate; my tears, real and unceasing.
and then, the chubby pubescent years with the adequate and recommended doses of strife and inner turmoil. my dad’s flirtation with cable TV and my introduction to the food network kick-started the obsession anew – jamie oliver, young tyler florence (still looking more like matt damon than philip seymour hoffman), rocco dispirito – the eye-candy alone was enough to make me stop and pause, but the gleaming counters, spotless measuring bowls, and close, vivid, pornographic images of the food itself made me stay.
but being 13, and the child and charge of two able cooks themselves, i rarely had the opportunity to actually make food myself. one side dish (the aforementioned j.ol’s potato au gratin) and a dozen cakes (recipe courtesy of an illustrated children’s cookbook, still somewhere in the family library) were all that i produced in the years between 13 and 17.
i left my homestate of MD to go to college in the UK in 17. my three-year undergraduate course was unmarked by any sort of culinary event, despite it being my first real opportunity to cook for myself – i learned how to make pasta at the beginning of my second year, and spent the next two years perfecting the art of adding things to it. which is hardly sophisticated for even your average college student chef.
it wasn’t until starting law school last autumn that my desire to cook really took root and flowered into something noteworthy. there are two key reasons for this sudden and complete transformation: firstly, my City boyfriend has just bought his first place with an incredible, state-of-the-art kitchen and top-of-the-line gadgetry, but no inclination to cook himself. and secondly, in my fifth year of being an income-less student, i’ve come to terms with the fact that, to eat the kind of food i like, there are much more viable options over eating out 4 nights a week.
i’ll be updating with anything food-related – trips to restaurants in both the UK and the US, as well as the food that i’m happy to make (and miserable to clean up after) – hopefully allowing you to come away with some ideas, hints, whatever.
in short, i’m really into food. i hope you are, too.