Every storyteller has a passion about something that inspires all of their stories; mine just happens to be deliciously… FOOD!
Food – The Great Visual
Whisk and Dine was created out of my love to both ‘Whisk and Dine’! Since I could stand on a chair and help my mom knead bread or Kibbeh, I have loved cooking.
I was fortunate enough to have grown up in a multi-cultural home. While my mother was a first generation Syrian gal, all her girlfriends were from all over the Middle East, Italy and Greece. Wow, did they cook, laugh, gossip a bit and make some fabulous food!
Dining, throughout my life, has come in so very many different forms. My brother in law, Ken’s Creative Kitchen, has set the stage for how to celebrate.
He has cooked for the late Prince Phillip, Tom Clancy and other well known celebrities. The Clintons, governors, congressmen and women and a gazillion beautiful brides, just to name a few, have been his clients.
Fine linen, crystal and silver, was just the way it’s done when our family gathers to celebrate. Even the little grand kids have always gotten first class treatment.
But that is not where my dining passions end:
- A bride to be in Calabria Italy
- Kabobs on an open fire in Greece
- Fabulous street food in the favelas of Brazil
- A ton of other memorable dining moments.
Memorable? Yes, every single one of these moments are etched in the photos of my mind, because for me, every meal told a story.
Fast forward into the 21st Century, where everyone has a phone that takes amazing photos.
I found myself wanting photos when I visited a farmer’s market; where nature’s provisions made for the most amazing colors and textures.
All aspects of seafood being lifted out of their waters ignited both stories and new recipes.
A hunter, just in with the offerings of the land, about to roast it in ways I never had.
Every aspect of the food we bring to the table, became a passion for me to capture on camera and these pages.
Books and Magazines
With the internet loaded with every imaginable recipe and how-to video, why do we still buy magazines and cook books? Or still write out a favorite recipe ‘on paper’ and share it with friends? Because all of those things are tangible!
There are times in life where you just want to go off the grid, sit in a quiet place and indulge in the pages of other artist’s work.
When I first got into food blogging, I thought it was the perfect place to save recipes for my family. Eventually, my family said, “You really should have a cookbook too, like… a real book”!
So I did. It was my first, and I focused mostly on small plate offerings. Tapas style eating. The kind I grew up seeing spread across a coffee table or picnic table.
My desire is not to teach folks how to cook, but rather to inspire them to want to cook.
Food Magazines are something I’ve always collected. One year, back in the early 90’s, I realized my magazine collection had taken over a portion of a room.
I set out over the course of a year to pull out every single recipe that most inspired me. Before long, I had an enormous collect of which I saved in plastic covers in large notebooks.
I am still amazed to this day how much I am inspired by this enormous collection, dating back to 1987.
Kitchen Life 200 Years Ago. Speaking of older recipes from years ago… I must tell you about a shoebox I inherited from my grandmother’s attic when she passed.
The shoebox is a long story but suffice it to say that in the collection of old… I mean ‘really’ old letters, dating back to the late 1800’s? They were hand written recipes from the woman Adelaide Hall, who wrote the stories and recipes I found in the shoebox.
This collection took an entire winter to transcribe and publish HER story. The story that never got published (which is why it was in my grandparents attic).
Her brother was the famous astronomer that discovered the moons around Mars. Asaph Hall was visited often, by president Lincoln while he labored at the Naval Observatory in DC. She… was just his sister. Hah! Not anymore. I saw to it that more than 100 years later, she got published!
This, now published collection can be found on Amazon. The 19th Century Memoirs of Adelaide Hall.
Don’t mind the notebook style cover I chose. It wasn’t my story to tell, it was hers. Overall, I did not feel comfortable taking liberties to design a cover that reflected me and not her.
I have had the exciting opportunities to create food stories on Food Network. The three shows I was a part of lit my passion for more visual storytelling.
In fact, I am heading out (after I write this missive to you), to do yet another brand new food show. It will be a series on PBS, that will unfold many beautiful stories around food and people’s lives.
Thank you, each and every one of you for sharing in my food and film passion!