Passion for Food!
Many of us are passionate about food: farmers, vegetarians, butchers, chefs, dietitians, critics. My passion for food mainly comes from eating … I can’t help it. I like to eat. Growing up in the Former Soviet Union, we didn’t always have an abundance of food. Frankly speaking, we survived eating potatoes and noodles. As you can imagine my I enjoyed eating for the mere fact that I didn’t get enough of it. Nevertheless, during special occasions, the Russian parents were able to create a delicious display of the Eastern European kitchen. If you are familiar with the Russian cooking, you know we love potatoes, mayo, pickled everything, and of course anything fried. It’s surprising how that country doesn’t have more obesity issues. I suppose affordability had something to do with it.
My first food journey took me to Wisconsin at the age of 12. Known for their cheese and beer, Wisconsin introduced me to aisles and aisles of food at the supermarket. All of a sudden we were eating hot dogs and corn on the cob … and the amounts of ice cream I consumed is unthinkable. Even our dog was getting the royal feast every night. It is at that time when I started to develop a real understanding for food. Because after a while, when you are no longer hungry, you start to really appreciate it. Although Wisconsin did not offer much variety, as it was mostly consumed by chain restaurants and fast food joins, I was fortunate enough to have had the ability to work side-by-side with some self-taught chefs. And might I add, those chefs made sure to spoil me with delicious off-the-menu items.
My real passion for food did not occur until much later; probably after my mom moved away and I no longer had the pleasure of a home-cooked meal, but most likely after I discovered the diversity of food when I moved to California. Los Angeles quickly introduced me to just how far authenticity, creativity and deliciousness can be showcased through food. I fell in love – with eating.