Cooking as Meditation
Next to traveling, food is one of my greatest passions. As a kid, I was in charge of setting and clearing the table for family dinners. I graduated into the kitchen, helping my mom prepare dinner and cook some things on my own. I was probably the best gravy stirrer in the world at that time!
This passion continued into college, where out of necessity I learned how to become a better cook. I remember going out on dates and thinking, I'm spending so much money on dinners why don't I learn to cook this. Plus, in those days it also served a different more selfish purpose: Invite my date over to my place for a “gourmet” meal, and she would already be there when we were done.
It wasn't until I had my own house and professional kitchen that I really started developing my skills and deepening my passion for cooking and entertaining. My friends would come over all the time and we would drink wine and listen to music while I cooked some amazing meals! It was always a time that I cherished: friends gathered in the kitchen telling stories, recapping the weekend debauchery, laughter, solving the worlds problems, seemingly finding solace in the fact that we all were stressed out from work and this was our time to relax and enjoy. My friends loved everything I cooked, and I put a lot of love into the food, which was such a healing experience for me. Cooking was the one time that I was completely lost in the experience of something–it was my form of meditation.
When I decided to travel the world, there wasn't easy access to a kitchen, so I tried to take cooking classes wherever I went. It was an excellent way to gather with new friends and share our passion for cooking all while being introduced to new and exciting ingredients! The fun part was going to the local markets and picking out the ingredients, seeing the local culture and how people really live. You can check out my tripos to markets all over the world!
When I lived in San Francisco for about 11 months midway through my travels, I picked back up with cooking, adding in some new techniques that I learned along the way, like cooking with sous vide, salt curing and starting to refine my presentation. I was a huge hit—and probably the only person cooking chicken sous vide and handing it out to the homeless. My next door neighbors would always come over for dinner and once again it filled my home with the aromas of fresh ingredients, laughter, wine, music, friends and amazing food!
Now that I am in Denver, I am looking forward to continuing my cooking and sharing my recipes and easy methods to cook great meals with you. Get in the kitchen and cook for your friends, family and loved ones—it’s a wonderful experience.