Food takes us on a life journey, and I love it. I also happen to make food for a living. I enjoy the entire process — from growing vegetables and herbs to menu planning to going to the market to preparing the food to entertaining — just to name a few. After spending the first 10 years of my cooking career in classical French fine dining restaurants, I found myself looking for something different. I wanted to cook using the same great ingredients, but in a much more casual, comfortable, everyday style. In other words, I wanted to make REAL food. I no longer wanted to use the pounds of butter and quarts of cream that had become second nature for me as a classically French-trained chef. Don’t get me wrong: French cuisine is beyond delightful and my mouth waters just with the thought of it. But I started to focus on simpler preparations, using more vegetables and fruits, rather than always centering a meal on the “protein” of the dish. By doing so, I have transformed the way I look at food, both as a chef and a consumer. Now I cook wholesome foods that my body craves, and I will ultimately be rewarded for this with great health and longevity. Sure, there’ll also be some indulgences along the way. This balance is what I strive for!
I have a wonderful wife of 17 years and three great kids who I adore. Out of sheer luck, I guess, it turns out that my wife’s entire family is in the food industry. We are all surrounded by food in our professional lives and we LOVE it! We celebrate with food. We grieve with food. It’s not often when we are together that we are not talking about food and wine in some way. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Let’s not forget about Louie, our English Pointer mix. He has several black patches over a shiny white short coat. He brings us such joy everyday. When the rest of my family abandons me during my silly little projects, I can always count on my Louie to be with me by my side.
Moving Towards Healthy
Years ago, our entire family had a complete shift on how we looked at food. My mother-in-law (Kay) was diagnosed with leukemia. After much research on her part, Kay decided to tackle the cancer purely with food and became a strict whole foods vegan. She wanted to give her body all the right nutrition for it to heal itself. We all found comfort in Kay’s determination and dedication and were inspired that her husband, my father-in-law (Bob), stood by her side and plunged into the vegan diet with her. Although we were in awe, we were still scared for, since this wasn’t the typical treatment for this disease. Those fears came mostly from our ignorance, even though Kay had taught us so much about the subject. Four years later, Kay is just doing fantastic with her health and is still using food to manage her cancer. Every six months, she goes to visit her doctor to hear the now familiar response, “See ya in six months Kay, your tests look great, again!”
As for my own health, sugar was my drug of choice for a decade, as it is for many others. This process started slowly. I didn’t even realize the direction I was going in. Ten years later (age 40), after gaining 52 pounds, I took a look in the mirror and realized how bad I felt and looked. However, feeling that way had become the “norm” for me. I didn’t know what “good” felt like anymore. I spent an entire decade (my 30s) feeling this way. I knew what I needed to do, but it was easier said than done. For my sake and my family’s, I am determined to reach my weight goal and my goal of not relying on sugar.
I’m excited to share my experiences and humble knowledge with others in this forum.