How I Cook
I have no formal training. I cook as much as I can. If I don’t get into the kitchen at least every couple days I become melancholy. If I am melancholy, putting me in front of the stove will instantly cheer me up. I’m still learning the balance of cooking to live and living to cook. I play well with others, and love to learn new things. I generally prefer rustic recipes, but have no qualms about digging into something technically difficult. I don’t have much care for visual perfection, but need to be wrestled out of throwing out a dish if it doesn’t taste just right.
If the base of a recipe comes from a cookbook I indicate it. Otherwise I probably looked at a bunch of recipes and then made it up. I improvise a lot. I’m much more concerned with the quality of the ingredients than that I followed the recipe. I don’t cut corners.
My cookbooks come from all over, as do the family recipes. My dad is from Bombay, India. My mother grew up a flower child outside of Philadelphia, PA. She did all the growing and baking and cooking a good child of 60s and 70s should do. We mix cuisines in a single meal and we don’t apologize for it.
How I Eat
I eat seafood and fish whenever I can find it wild and local and recently have introduced high quality chicken, eggs, and pork into my diet. I try to eat protein that suits the natural environment around me. I will cook and taste anything put in front of me, provided it comes from a good source. I prefer love ghee, butter, and olive oil. I like food fresh and flavorful. I like to feel good after I’ve eaten a meal. I have not yet come across a flavor I didn’t appreciate. I listen to my body, and try to always feed it what it needs. I love cheese of all kinds.
I have opinions about everything, especially food I don’t cook myself. Although I’m a tough critic, I relish the experiences when I am introduced to new foods so long as they are made with care. I have no problem causing a scene or giving praise if food merits it. I expect my server, grocer, busboy, sommelier, Greenmarket seller, and cookbook author to be knowledgeable about the food they promote.
Where I Buy
I sniff lettuce and gently fondle all the pears. Given the opportunity, I will rearrange a grocer’s strawberries to give myself the best container. Just “yesterday” while with my mother in a Whole Foods, I accosted an employee for admitting the location stopped buying Organic Buttermilk when they started stocking the cheap conventional kind.
All the food you see is made from scratch, sourced from the Greenmarkets, my mother’s garden on weekends, CSAs, and groceries. I support the purveyors out there who are better than USDA Organic and Whole Foods.
Cooking in the woods, digging in the dirt, steep ascents, sheer rock faces, challenges, enthusiasts, language, questions, yoga, books, chickadees, music, psychology’s dirty little secrets, taking photos, composting, cilantro, cultures that aren’t mine, decrepit buildings and retired heavy-duty farming equipment, fantastical dreams realized, flying and airplanes, aliums, facts, impossible feats, being autonomous, meeting new people, the human brain, being in the middle of nowhere with nothing and no one, immersion travels, truth, driving, how polaroids make the world look so intense and every photo is “that time we…”, people who make food well and with care, people who cook food well and with care, science, jumping up and down and yelling really loud, contradictions, clouds, welding painting drawing ceramics and any other craft and creation man can imagine, not necessarily in that order.