Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feeding My Dream

I'm happy to report that I filmed a little cooking segment today (hoorah!) after having taken some time off to focus on culinary school and working at the restaurant La Ciccia. I am also happy to report that I recently graduated from culinary school and filmed a cooking show pilot, two lifelong dreams of mine. Looking back on the last year, I feel really darn proud that I took the leap.

And so, as I get back into the groove of doing regular videos for you, I'm calling this next chapter, Feeding My Dream. It's all about my leaving corporate America to do what I love - cook, eat and be happy. So far so good, but there's lots more for me to learn and do. In culinary school I learned lots about cooking, but even more about myself. And I found out that I'd much rather live my life on my terms, even if it's on uncertain ground, than go to a job I'm not totally psyched about.

Feeding My Dream is about my learning to cook, learning to be happy and figuring out how to build my life around these things. As you'll see from my new videos (starting next week!), I've learned a bunch, but I'm not nearly anywhere close to being done. So I hope you'll follow me on this great ride, learn with me, cook and eat some really tasty food, and maybe even figure out your dream along the way.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Inspiration

I had to write this for school and it ended up meaning a lot to me, so I wanted to share it.

I read Julia Child’s, My Life in France, at the same time that I was embarking on an incredible journey to change my life. Reading Julia’s accounts of the things she had “loved most in life; [her] husband, Paul Child, la belle France, and the many pleasures of cooking and eating,” was one of the most inspiring experiences of my life.

It’s hard for me to remember when and how food came to mean so much to me, I guess because I can’t recall a time in my life when it wasn’t important. For me, food has marked my world in meaningful ways since my first memories of spending time in my abuelito’s restaurant kitchen. When I think about that time in the restaurant I remember a lot of hot and cold and wet. The air that hit me when I swung open the kitchen door, hot. My aubelitos’ chest when I hugged him, hot and wet. All of the different tastes - the soups, baked clams, NY cheesecake, gravies - hot and cold and wet…and wonderful. Since then, I have always loved – with glee and passion – to eat. I found that eating was an incredible way to give myself joy and to also learn about and connect with other people. Through this love of eating, I came to experiment with and to grow to love cooking and feeding people.

I’ve always been directed and ambitious and those things, along with a lot of love and luck, helped me to be one of the first people in my family to go to college, getting degrees from Harvard and Stanford. Going to places like that – places where success felt like an obligation - led me to follow a rigorous, though safe, path in business. I disliked my job for years, always wondering what it would be like to do something I really loved. What if I were to align my passion for food with my ambition? Actually, what if it had nothing to do with ambition, what if I just followed my passion for food?

When I read My Life in France I felt overcome with relief and gratefulness that Julia Child finally found, followed and submerged herself in her passion for food. Imagine had she not followed her heart? Food, food culture and food media in the United States would look remarkably different. Julia’s journey showed me that there’s just no other way. To not follow one’s heart, to not follow my heart, would be a life of regret and one I don’t want to live.

And so for the last eleven months I have been pursuing my passion – to learn as much as I can about food and eating and to find ways to communicate to people about all of it. It feels thrilling, unbelievably scary and absolutely amazing. After spending a decade researching and writing what would eventually become Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia learned that her book would not be published. Her reaction was incredible: “I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself….I was proud of it…I had found myself through the arduous writing process. Even if we were never able to publish our book, I had discovered my raison d’etre in life…” I can’t think of anything more inspiring than that. In finding and following my passion, I am finding myself too, and it’s the best feeling of all.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Raspberry Clafoutis

My camera skills were horrendous, but this dessert is worth trying. It's sophisticated, yet could not be easier. Really, it couldn't be easier! You basically just mix a bunch of things together and bake it. And then voila!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

This video from this year's Ted conference - of Jamie Oliver's wish for kids learning how to eat, families cooking and home, and the US fighting obesity - is so darn important that I cried while watching it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nothing Like a Hunky Chef Cooking

In preparation for Valentine's Day, I thought I'd reminisce about the romantic meal I once cooked with hunky chef Rocco DiSpirito. OK...I'm half kidding...I promise that I'm really thinking about the lovely Valentine's meal I'm going to have with Mike, my hunky boyfriend. We're going to Napa on Sunday to try Bottega, Michael Chiarello's latest restaurant that everyone's raving about. But I mean, Rocco's pretty cute too - see for yourself! :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chatting Food and Wine with The Mayor!

Check me out chatting with SF Mayor Gavin Newsom at SF Chefs Food Wine. Gavin's got lots to say on food, wine and SF. This interview almost got away, but I cajoled him into doing it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Chocolate Chip Cookies

I really do enjoy chocolate chip cookies. I like to make a big batch of homemade dough and keep it handy in the freezer to bake up nice and hot on an as needed basis. And truthfully, I don't understand why everyone doesn't do this. I mean, I'd love to say making these is a process and long labor of love, but they're just not. Simple, straightforward and lovely, these cookies are bound to make people feel homey, comfy and loved.

Check out this video where I show Hardy Wallace how to make them and we pair them with Pax Syrah - a big, bold red - because, well, why not?!