I had the kitchen all to myself this morning; actually I had the whole restaurant to myself for an hour or so. It was a ‘pinch myself’ sort of moment; here I am making pesto in my own restaurant, in Italy. What a long, strange trip it’s been. Remember when you were little and people would ask what do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t think the possibility of being a chef in Italy ever crossed my mind. Yet, I feel as if I’ve been getting ready for this experience for a long time. I’ve eaten at restaurants all over the world, from street side roast chicken in Cozumel, to the hoitist of toitist in Hong Kong and New York. I have a favorite place for oysters in Paris, and I’d love to taste some Hawaiian poke again. I’m not saying this to brag about all the places I’ve been, I’m just remembering something that a wine instructor said to me, “You are the sum of all that you have tasted before.” I’ve cooked for many years, and fed lots of people at our table. I love to cook, and I love to bring people together over a plate of food. I love using all 5 of my senses when I’m in the kitchen. And now, here I am in Italy, in Umbria, where you can sit for an hour and discuss the finest points about coffee or salumi, or what is the appropriate white wine to use for steaming v. frying. I’ve landed in a place where passion trumps logic and reality, and this is not a bad thing. This morning was a chance to reflect on our amazing adventures, and to wonder what lies ahead.
And why a photo of flowers? Because today is our 24th wedding anniversary, and I felt like looking at flowers!