Sunday, July 13, 2008

Things you might or might not know about me, food edition

I'm stealing this idea from Internets uber-geek Sean Bonner, but I'm doing this foodie style. And instead of shooting for 100 things, I'll spare you all and cap the number at 28, which happens to be the number of years old I will be in a little over a month.

1. My favorite junk food (arguably of all time) is Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips.

2. I don't cook at home as much as I'd like to. I'll blame it on the fact that I have an electric range, but I know that's not entirely the case.

3. It's a point of pride for me to be a woman in a largely male-dominated field of cooks. Props to my guy friends for teasing me enough to know how to deal with a bunch of sarcastic, foulmouthed dudes.

4. I am very critical of myself in the kitchen (and elsewhere, but let's stick with food here). Any time I know I've messed up, I can always make myself feel worse about it than anyone else could.

5. Alternately, it makes me really, really happy when I do a good job. Seeing the looks on people's faces when they gobble up something I made and then passing plates around the table to share gives me such a sense of satisfaction, I remember why I'm doing this in the first place.

6. I am extremely competitive. Extremely.

7. The entirety of my college undergrad experience, I dreamed of waiting tables. I read this book and fantasized about being a server.

8. The first time I waited tables was for a restaurant owned by my aunt in Gastonia, NC. It was Sunday All-You-Can-Eat brunch, and NOT buffet style--customers ordered as much as they liked, finish the first round, ordered another round, finished that round, and on and on and on. I went back to my aunt's house after my first insane shift, called my mom and cried to her for an hour.

9. I love a bowl of hot soup on a hot day.

10. I love a bowl of hot soup basically anytime.

11. I once got into a serious argument with a previous boyfriend about the merits of soup.

12. I considered breaking up with said boyfriend over soup argument.

13. Every time I worked in a restaurant as a server or host, I made it a point to befriend the kitchen staff. I always asked a lot of questions about the food, as well as how they got started cooking, because I knew somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking about it myself. As a result, I got food easily fired on the fly, chatted up exec chefs about their farmer's market hauls of the morning, had plates especially made up for me to try (house-made pasta in anchovy and sage-infused olive oil with shaved truffles, anyone?), and even dated a couple of cooks.

14. I feel that I've "mastered" only a handful of dishes. I'm hoping to multiply that number within the next few months.

15. I'm self-conscious about trying my hand on the hot line at work.

16. I love that cooks talk about cooking when we're not at work.

17. I went through phase as a kid when all I wanted was some form of potato. I remember it being the first time I developed an interest in cooking.

18. I was a vegetarian once for eight months, nearly eight years ago. The first omnivorous meal I ate when I quit being vegetarian was a huge plate of sashimi.

19. I consider my personal kitchen to be very ill-equipt.

20. The only time I ever got upset at my former roomie (and still one of my best friends) when we lived together was when we were making dinner one night, and I turned to see her attempting to cut off a wire twist-tie on a bunch of spinach with my new Wustof Classic 8" chef's knife. I think she knows better now :).

21. I have doubts about my cooking skills, but I know I'm getting better.

22. Another point of pride for me: Kicking ass in culinary school.

23. I've been called "bossy" by some of my classmates, but, frankly, I don't mind.

24. I'm convinced my brother knows way more about food that I do. He's a bona fide gastronome. He definitely knows more about wine than I think I ever will.

25. I am not particularly good at cooking the cuisine of my home country, and hope I will get better at it because I gots a cravin', and there's very little Taiwanese food to be found in Portland. Plus I'd like to cook some of these meals for my future family.

26. Thanks to school and work, my hands and feet look like they belong to a marathon-running auto mechanic.

27. I remember the exact moment when it struck me that I wanted to pursue a career in food: At Coastal Kitchen in Capitol Hill, Seattle with my mom, brother and sister, four years ago. I was eating a particularly good meal, happy to be with family after a tumultuous year prior, and a feeling hit me out of nowhere. Before I could think, I blurted out, "I think I know what I want to do with my life. I want a food-related career." My family's response, besides some cheering and clapping, was essentially, "DUH." Something along the lines of, "We knew all along, we were just waiting for you to realize it for yourself."

28. I'm not certain where this path will take me, but I've felt more certain on this path than any other in my life.

1 comment:

Corwin said...

Oh man- Coastal Kitchen, Atlas, 5-Spot- I had forgotten about them. Put them together with the Portage Bay and Dick's and I think you've got a list of all the food I miss from Seattle.