Musings on Food and Life

Musings on Food & Life

Food is my passion. I create, read, write, breath, eat, photograph, love and live food. As a chef and culinary instructor, each day is a quest to learn something new about a food ingredient, recipe, history, or fact about all things edible. Three silly dogs share my passion for eating and I'm blessed to be married to my best friend Tracy. Tune in for my thoughts on food, recipes, dogs, travel, music and life.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Chef John Besh & Chef Rosemary

Food, glorious food.  Something very, very special happens when food people come together to share and learn from one another.  Last week I had the extreme pleasure of visiting Austin, TX to attend the 2011 conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).  So many classes and workshops, so little time!  Some of the most vibrant print media writers, bloggers, chefs and accomplished food professionals I have ever seen via books, articles, TV and internet were present.  I lapped up knowledge like a hot, thirsty dog at a cool water bowl!

 Who would not feel blessed to watch the incredible Jacques Pépin create five dishes from his latest cookbook?  He has such wit and charm, and his recipes were simple with vibrant flavor.   And to hear Ellie Krieger give suggestions and tips for working on camera while doing food segments?  She is so lovely, no wonder the camera embraces her.   To see the beauty and grace in the stories that Penny de los Santos achieves through her photographs about food and culture.  You can feel her respect for the subjects and her love for her craft.  And Chef John Besh, who took inspiration from local college students in New Orleans on adding lemongrass to his Shrimp Creole.  Wow.  I am still processing all that I heard, felt and saw.

In one segment about food writing, I met Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder, authors of The Big Book of Appetizers, one of my favorite appetizer books.  Hearing writing tips from revered writer and coach Toni Allegra, award winning cookbook author Dorie Greenspan, and Washington Post food writer Joe Yonan.  "Speed Dating for Entreprenurs" allowed those who own and run their businesses to ask questions of three distinctly different panelists whose advice has already proven invaluable.  Learning from people whose blogs now attract over a million readers each day.

I could go on and on about what I learned but one thing became obvious to me at the conference.  These successful people in the food world have passion for what they do.  They had a dream and went for it.  They are simply people with unique gifts and talents who succeed by following through on their dreams.  Taking action one step at a time.  Asking for advise from their peers, friends and fellow foodies.  They strive to learn something new each and every day.  

As the saying goes, so much to do and so little time.  I am continually evaluating who I am as a chef and my fit in this complex food world.  It's time to take action on some of my dreams and put others to rest.  As Seth Godin writes in his book The Dip, you have to quit some things to make room for the right things.  I'm ready....bring it on!

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