Just one year ago, I wondered what I would possibly write about.
I’d created the Culinary Types blog as a means to pursue a regular writing discipline about something so core to my life – food. Yet as 2007 loomed, I had no formal classes planned, and no culinary travels on the calendar.
What would I possibly write about?
It turned out that the answer to that question was almost as easy as, “What shall I eat?” The options were endless. In fact, I wrote over 100 entries in 2007.
While Culinary Types is about writing, it is far more than words – it is the people at the heart of each story. For without them, food would just be ingredients, or so much organic matter. Each “Culinary Type” adds key ingredients to the recipe that creates this ongoing chronicle: artistry, care, technique, passion, a spirit of adventure and a deeply-rooted personal history that connects them to the food they offer at this table.
There were so many Culinary Types that captivated me in 2007:
There were chefs who left their corporate jobs to pursue their passion for food, like Juan Pablo Chavez, founder of Healthy Meals JPC in New York City, and John MacPherson of the B&B The Foster Harris House in Little Washington, Virginia who with his wife Diane serves up exquisite breakfasts of pure fantasy and the best hospitality on the East Coast.
We dined with home cooks, like my friend Jill from Ottawa who meticulously researched and jointly mastermind the American-Canadian Cooking Project, and inspired a Locally-Grown Canadian Feast, two cross-country culinary collaborations. And, we followed the trials and tribulations of my own kitchen experiments from sushi to tagine.
We met food artisans who care deeply about their craft, like Jon Wright who produces creamy Vermont gouda cheese at Taylor Farm, and the Sprague family who invite the public into their rustic sugar house to learn about the production of pure Vermont maple syrup.
There were epicurean delights, like my birthday celebration dinner at The Inn at Little Washington.
We learned about the science of the kitchen from trend-makers like “The Curious Cook” Harold McGee, while I joined my friend “Lee Sloan,” a grand dame of food and wine, to investigate the cutting-edge phenomena of molecular gastronomy and raw food.
We tasted the creations of skilled bakers, like Tante Kremer’s Hungarian Nut Torte, and sampled a fluffy procession of Retro Cakes, uncovered by the Old Foodie. The names of the original creators may be lost to the annals of time, but every crumb was infused with history, flavor and emotion.
We journeyed with culinary road warriors like my colleague “Splint McCullough,” experiencing first-hand this avowed carnivore’s religious experience with roast beef at the world-renowned Carnegie Deli.
And of course, there were food bloggers – new friends like Lydia of the Perfect Pantry and her wonderful Drop In and Decorate program, and Susan the Food Blogga and her fascination with eating Christmas Cookies! But, a review of 2007 would not be complete without a mention of my delicious, surprise meeting with the brilliant Veronica, proprietor of the blogosphere’s top test kitchen. That was indeed an unexpected culinary treat!
I am submitting my list of 2007 Culinary Types to “One Hot Stove” and Nupur’s "Best of 2007" event. I just recently learned of "One Hot Stove" at Lydia’ Perfect Pantry, and I’m looking forward to discovering more about Indian regional food from Nupur in 2008.
What will I write about in 2008? I’ve only just begun to explore locally-grown foods, and I’m curious about American regional cooking, so there may be some "Low Country" cuisine from the American South in my near future.
I do wonder what I’ll write about in 2008, but I have a feeling the feast has just begun.
Happy New Year!
©2007 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved