It grew over time, my love for cooking, culinary arts and anything food-related.
Maybe it was always going to happen, as two of my best friends have been avid lovers of hospitality and lavish dinner parties ever since I’ve known them, but I had my own journey.
I think food first became my love language when I was nursing my broken heart back to health in my aunt’s quaint little house in the middle of a quaint little town.
Thanks to my aunt I could live on my own instead of moving back with my parents.It was a luxury that helped a shitty situation be significantly less terrible: not only did I need to be on my own for a while, I loved my aunt’s home. Colorstained windows, a roof terrace and a wonderful cosy kitchen on the first floor. Blue tiles, wooden cabinets, a high table with stools and cute little settee: I loved being there.
And so I found myself there, a few weeks in, a glass of red in hand, cooking an entire Indian feast — for nobody but myself. And it felt…good.
And like a defining moment. This was how I was going to be. This was how I was going to take care of myself.
While I lived there, cooking became therapy. I’d make enough for a few days (especially at the beginning: heartache kills my appetite but I’d cook for myself regularly and faithfully. When I started dating again, I seduced my dates -and later, my boyfriend- with bacon-brownies, blue cheese salads and classic carbonaras.
I became better at cooking in that cute little kitchen. I had more friends over for dinner. I started trying more recipes, becoming more interested in cook books. I read The Silver Spoon like it was a bible. I would make a whole roast chicken with orange on a Tuesday night just because I felt like it.
I also started to appreciate restaurants more. My best friends had always taken me nice places, but I started to notice more. How the food worked, how it all worked.
I took my new culinary curiosity with me when I moved in with my boyfriend.
As I fell more in love with food, so did he. He started baking, making cakes and pizza dough. I bought him a fancy stand mixer and he bought himself the pasta extensions, and started to make pasta from scratch each week. When I asked him to make the stuffing biscuits for Thanksgiving, they came out so good we now eat them every other week.
I started to cook elaborate dinners for my family. I shared food with my neighbours, who taught me more about food and sharing than I knew before. I cook for my friends when they just had a baby or suffered hardships.
When we bought a place together, we had a very clear main goal: a big ass dream kitchen. Room for our coffee machine, the fancy stand mixer. Miles of counter space, two ovens and a big American-style fridge to fill. We succeeded, and our kitchen is still my favorite place of the house.
Food to me is mindful, love, memories, sharing. I like that happiness can be as easy as a homecooked meal or a perfect cup of coffee. Food is so much more than calories and micros, it’s experience. It’s living.
It’s filling the stomach and mind, nurturing to body and soul.
It’s a glass of champagne with a girlfriend, a bottle of red on a date. It’s sharing, feeding loved ones as you spend time together, it’s sending them away with leftovers so they take a bit of your love with them. It’s ordering greasy take-out on a terrible day and fine dining on a great one — or vice versa.
My interest in food and love for cooking has made my life and relationships more beautiful and I’m excited for the future. I’m sure it will continue to play an important role in my life.
After all, there is so much more to share, to experience — and to eat.