Sunday, September 19, 2010

Foodbuzz Challenge #1: I am Cameo Hear me Roar!



My blog is not about swapping granola bar recipes or handy tips on cutting mango, though they are useful and blog worthy subjects.  My blog is more personal. Without seeming too overly narcissistic, it’s about me, and my life in food.
In the last few months I have shot and styled three cookbooks, cooked a whole deer on the beach in a remote town in Alaska, tipped cocktail glasses at Tales of the Cocktail, in New Orleans with the best bartenders and booze makers in the world, gave a seminar on creativity, spent the weekend on a farm cooking with Seattle’s best chefs at ‘Burning Beast’, harvested honey from our backyard hive, butterflied and cooked my first whole pig at a luau, ate for 12 straight hours in Vancouver Canada as part of ‘dimsumcouver’, flew to Chicago to participate in the Chicago Art Departments annual  fund raiser as a living piece of an art installation in a food truck constructed of cardboard serving Asian inspired hot dogs.   

This evening I'll be at a party at Rick Bayless’ house,  next week I am going to figure how to work less and start my own restaurant… or at least figure out how to get money for such an endeavor.   My life is never boring. It’s slightly exhausting, overly stimulating, and often a downright mess, and me? I am snarky, smart, quick-witted opinionated and always up for an adventure.   I love food, eating, cooking, canning freezing, pickling boozing, killing, tasting and sharing. And apparently after reading this paragraph I also enjoy making lists.
I kept journals throughout adolescence, stories of woe and despair, and forlorned love.  Hearts and arrows, doodles of flowers, a fellows name scrawled a hundred times.  This went on for years, Jr. High, High School, well into college and the ‘real world’.  I lugged them bound and gagged in an old suitcase; stories, poetry, lists; drug induced observations, drunken lyrics illegibly sprawled, and scraps of paper. The best of my scribblings turned into songs I would sing at open mic night until even I was like, "damn girl, your depressing!" then I stopped. I stopped writing.  When the writing stopped the singing stopped, then there was only heat.
It was about the time I became seriously involved with food, every tingle, tart, salty, soft, crunchy, succulent morsel of it. I traveled and ate and set sail on the high seas, I put myself through culinary school and jumped into a car with three hundred dollars to my name and headed to Chicago where I snagged a job at the increasingly successful Frontera Grill.  Smitten like a school girl, I scoured cookbooks and magazines; I read less great works and forgot to turn poetry into songs.  My journals were replaced by a little black recipe book, worn at the edges and permanently formed to my posterior in the back of my hounds tooth uniform.
 Now I turn my food into words and my words into food. My writing illustrates the great things about my life experiences rather than sullen musings of a depressed and self depreciating woman.  Writing has given me a sense of self worth, and sparked a new passion in cooking, that can so easily be lost if you are not fully dedicated to your craft.