I’ve experienced a variety of turbulent times in my thirty-year career, some financial, some weather related, one even terrorist. A few things that this chef has learned over the years is that the sun always rises from the east and sets in the west. We only have one life to live and you better live it right. There’s no turning back, only moving forward and nothing smells better than BBQ cooking over mesquite wood. However, the one fact that I have learned in all the years that I’ve been cooking, reading and writing about food, is that it is a never-ending story. The characters change, trends and fads come and go, but one staple seems to weather the storm consistently through the decades and that’s the word comfortability.
I’ve always found it curious that food can spark such vivid memories of our childhood. Our memories can transport us back to a day when the air was clean, times were good, and fun always seemed to be right around the corner. We are often sent back in time to when food gave us the comfort we needed when times were challenging.
Comfort food goes way beyond simple Mac and Cheese. The intricacies of comfort food lie deep in the roots of Americas rich diversity and unique regional character that’s the foundation of this country.
What is comfort food? Comfort food is what makes you close your eyes, take a deep breath and smell and taste a flavor that brings back a moment, an instant particle in your life and makes it delicious. Delicious in the way that no matter how old you are, that one instance in time stopped and created a moment of joy that no one can ever take from you. Webster explains it as -to impart strength and hope, to encourage; to relieve; to console; to cheer. We need comforting in challenging times. We need to comfort our family, friends, clients, and colleagues and sometimes complete strangers. We can accomplish this though food. Food is universal. Food has no boundaries. Food is shared internationally and accepted everywhere, some more than others.
Food has a tremendous influence on how you shop, live and prepare your meals. Comfort food comes in many forms, shapes, sizes and flavors. All distinct upon how and where you were raised. These influences molded you into the person you are today. I know this by the experiences offered to me when I’m allowed to take a few moments and venture into my clients lives. I am permitted to gain knowledge of my client’s intricacies and understand how their upbringing influenced them and their way of looking upon food.
Comfortability will never go out of style. We desire and crave the food that feeds our soul and senses. Those building blocks have been meticulously laid brick by brick into are DNA and form the nucleolus to our soul. Our affection to our favorite comfort food will be drawn out and displayed if unrest continues.
Food and comfort are simultaneous and radiates from us when we teach our children the joy and happiness that we once remembered. We want our children to feel, taste and grab a hold of the same energy that we cherished that one summer, fall or winter day that keeps us remembering when the sky was blue, the grass was green, and I couldn’t wait to get home to have…………