I’m back in the US of A, after being abroad since February of 2008. I left the deserts of the UAE in July 2012 and landed in Frankfurt, the first stop on my yearlong work and experience tour, which took me to great kitchens in Mannheim, San Sebastián and Paris, wherein I met some excellent cooks and a few inspiring – and inspired – chefs. (More on that later.) My only regret? That I was unable to spend much more time in those kitchens with those people working with that food.
Sojourns in Kaiserslautern, Barcelona, Girona, Marly-le-Roi, Paris, Gujarat, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and travels by automobile through Provence and Alsace and Montreux and France and Kutch and many other beautiful and welcoming locales, gave me beauty and rest, and I encountered individuals who told me their stories and showed kindness to a stranger, and received it in return. Angela and I ate and drank and saw sights amazing and funny in Paris and India and Louisville (at the Derby), and we shared laughs with some wonderful people in North Carolina during a weekend reunion with high school classmates of mine from Germany. Beth and her family hosted us, and we roasted a suckling pig and drank some good wines and beers and continued a long and priceless relationship.
The year also allowed me to spend time with a few great friends, including Holger and Gudrun and Tim and Max, Dean and Julie, Xavier and Charlotte and Manon, Hector and Eugenie. And I was able to enjoy a month or so with my parents and my sister Julie and her family in Florida, a time that included joy and sadness, as we bid farewell to Ida, my grandmother, in whose Savannah kitchen I first began to discover that food existed for more – much more – than merely satisfying hunger.
The journey continues … Angela was offered a great position in Houston, so I began looking for a job there, hoping to combine my love of cooking and culinary knowledge with my background in journalism. I succeeded, and am now the managing editor at the Houston Press, a Voice Media Group publication, where I also oversee food and restaurant coverage. I am enjoying getting to know the sprawling, eclectic, and sometimes maddening space that is the Houston food world, and the people who make it happen.
More to come.