Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The pâté that launched a thousand words...

We interrupt the typical bakery hunting news for a brief announcement about a new food blogging project!  The inspiration for this project was born long ago, with a sudden culinary spark at the age of 9 years, way before the food blogosphere existed in our collective vocabulary.  

In preparation for my tenth birthday, my parents invited friends and family for an afternoon at the local roller rink.  In planning for this momentous double digit celebration, my mother asked me: "What should I make to eat?"  

While most kids in 1990's America would have demanded pizza, I exclaimed "pâté"!  At the time, I didn't think anything of requesting pâté to serve to a cluster of middle school children alongside blueberry slushies, popcorn, and other roller rink fare: I doubt any of them noticed it or dared to seek out a taste.  Nevertheless, my mom's lovingly crafted pâté was how I chose to celebrate, my pâté birthday if you will.  Years before the blog frenzy of the internet age, this was the pâté that would later launch a thousand words.  I'm certain I wouldn't be the food blogging, baking, and cooking fanatic I am today without it.  As you can see below, this recipe was recently enjoyed in the present day at my grandfather's birthday celebration, albeit this time with more age-appropriate beverages (the blueberry slushy pairing was not missed.)

The passion for food my family instilled in me was heightened with the opportunity to live abroad in Denmark and travel throughout Europe.  From the wonderfully stinky fromage shops of Paris, to the bakeries of Copenhagen, to the cafes around every corner of the maze-like Seville streets, I discovered a reverence for food and an enthusiasm for the art of culinary travel.  Wherever I am in the world, my brain is wired to hunt down the best local food my surroundings might hold.  Rather than simply consuming this food, my aim is always to celebrate and savor it, in the true spirit of Pâté Birthday.   

My travels sparked the idea for this blog, The Great American Bakery Hunt, a blog I have dedicated to the aggressive pursuit of bakeries.  And while this blog focuses on using my killer sweet tooth to hunt bakeries around the world, I have an appreciation and commitment to all food. Fascinated by learning how to work with new ingredients and explore cooking techniques, I plan to leave no stove top unturned in life's cooking explorations.  And to help document this journey, I am launching a sister blog, Pâté Birthday, where I will focus on exploring as many recipes as possible, particularly ones that connect to family food traditions from all different cultures.

Throughout my life, I hope to seize any opportunity to cook or bake up a storm and to continue to widen my understanding of the world through the vehicle of food.  I'm certain I'm up for the challenge since after hours at work, I often come home excited to cook, spending hours making fresh soup and from-scratch cornbread, mixing up a new homemade hummus flavor, or crafting a quiche or a tart.  Simply, I am driven to blog because food is what I love, and I hope I can share that with others. 

My own family's table is shaped by many different cultures, including roots in Louisiana to the farmlands of the Midwest, from gumbo, okra, and red beans and rice, to the hearty history of American meat and potatoes tradition.  As a native Southern Californian, I am also fortunate to have grown up on delicious Mexican food throughout my youth.  And while I call Los Angeles my home, I am likely to show up in your city one day, toting a baguette from a local bakery and hunting for my next meal.  

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