One of my earliest memories is sitting on the countertop in the kitchen watching my Mum cook dinner. I was often allowed to help, at first stirring something, later graduating onto chopping onions until I remember asking for a recipe book and the chance to make something by myself. I have always been fascinated by food, where it comes from, how to cook it, reading about, cooking it and of course eating the final product.
By the age of 10, I owned three books; Ken Hom’s Chinese Food, an introduction to cooking aimed at children by Fay Maschler and my prized possession, a cookery book (so much more than mere recipes) by Robert Carrier. The latter had been a great favourite of my parents and was one that I borrowed and put on my own bookshelf.
Those who went to school with me know that I had little time for reading fiction. My bookshelves were laden with ‘books with facts’ as I called them, almanacs and factual guides to various subjects. I also had a healthy collection of cookery and recipe books. They were my fiction. I would read about them and wonder what some of the more exotic ingredients were. This was well before the internet brought the 1′s and 0′s of wikipedia in our homes. If I wanted to know what chard looked and tasted like it was a case of finding a dictionary or a ‘fact book’ and probably both.
Fast forward 11 years and I was living with Lucy, surrounded by the by products of the TV Chef phenomena that was in its ascendancy. More importantly, I was now had my own kitchen and could cook for two and receive instant feedback.
Through the last decade, I have been lucky enough to visit lots of restaurants, many with Michelin stars. My skills in the kitchen have improved with practice and the range of food that I can cook has expanded exponentially. Of late as I began to catch myself telling people about the new chorizo that I had found or how the seventh iteration of my pot roast had produced the perfect sauce, my thoughts turned to writing up these ideas and creating a website.
And so the Pondering Gourmet was born. A collection of my thoughts on food and drink that I eat at home, in a restaurant or in the air.