This is my first post.
A bit more about me other than I’m a food and beer nut: I’ve worked in hospitality, restaurants and the culinary world, all of my life. It started out merely as a way to make some extra cash in high school when my father came under hard times and morphed into a way to pay for myself through college, waiting tables to pay for what financial aid and scholarships didn’t cover. It was really good work, it enabled me to get all the way through to a graduate education without too much student loan debt. But along the way, living in studio apartments, driving an orange 1978 Toyota Celica, and trucking though my 20’s, I fell in love with food.
I really didn’t mean it to happen. Growing up, I was raised with good ole’ Texas beef. In Austin Texas it not only is a meal, but a way of life. Things from Texas are different, deliciously so, the best steak on earth comes from there. But the late 1970’s and 1980’s Texas wasn’t known for any culinary feats other than bbq brisket, no gastronomical greatness but it deserved great respect and hoorah.
In my early teens years, my family relocated to Venice Beach California. California has it’s own cuisine and is about 2-3 years behind culinary trends of what you would find in New York, London, Paris and Barcelona. Which was fine for me growing up as a teenager. I attended a liberal arts high school in Los Angeles which introduced me to a vegetarian lifestyle. I was young and so idealistic, into the Greatful Dead, against capitalism & materialism; a crunchy hippie? yeah, probably. My father was extremely creative with vegetarian dinners that I must give him kudos for being so adventurous with cuisine so far from what we grew up with.
Anyways, I put myself through college, all told it took me about 11 years, part time.
I found that I am perpetually torn between science and the culinary world, and if one looks at all 11 years you’ll see me go back and forth between the two. I left a Biology program at UCLA to go to culinary school at the C.I.A., and when I was done with my culinary education, I returned to school and received my BA in Biology from Lehman College in the Bronx. Then I had the ingenious idea to combine the two things I loved, and entered into the Food Science PhD program at Cornell University. All the while I moved up in the restaurant world.
To say the least, I owe a lot of my love for food and gastronomy to the restaurants and chefs that I had the opportunity to work with in New York City. I was reintroduced to all things meat. Pork, charcuterie, Beef, crudo, and offal. That’s right, anything that comes from an animal…i will eat. So know now that this site will not just feature those delectable garden goodies I’m growing, but a plethera of pork, duck, rabbit, fish, beef, game, & etc.
Nowadays, I still support myself waiting tables. My dreams are to open a beer garden and serve a wide variety of charcuterie and cased meats (i.e. sausages!!!) and cheese. I live, love and work in Santa Barbara California. I have always had a brown thumb, I tend to kill every plant I have ever come in contact with. But with a spacious backyard and perpetual sunshine, I intend to grow my own food and hopefully create lavish 5 course spreads. More often than not though, I will create simple one course dishes.
My plan is to post weekly, hopefully detailing what gardening or menu events occurred the weekend before.
Welcome to my barbarian table!