Issue No. 1 | July 2010
This Month's Kitchen
One of the absolute joys of food blogging is getting to hear the stories and memories of other who are equally culinary obsessed. We're like junkies, it seems, in our need to dork out over ingredients, techniques and feasts and our love is far-reaching when it comes to goodness in the kitchen.
I feel like my kitchen journey has intersected with my buddy Tim Ma's quite a bit lately, and it's a reminder of why I keep on cooking and blogging, from the days of accolades and new friends on the web to the times where I get barely a hit for dishes that I slaved over like no other. I think of my frustrations with carving out my niche in a field of millions, and I question my end game in this process. Is it purely a selfish hobby? Or am I out to truly change the way people approach the kitchen? And if it's the latter, who the eff do I think I am to even feel qualified to do so?
Tim, owner and executive chef of Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, VA, is a veritable culinary beast, championing ecclectic cuisines with a clarity of vision and superb skill that is ever so needed. It's refreshing to see someone show such reverence for stunning ingredients, and he does so day in and day out with such panache. His food makes me swoon, and for those that know me, I live for those experiences. So imagine my surprise, upon chatting on the joys of farmer's markets (garlic scapes) and culinary giants (the mad genius of David Chang), Tim asks how I keep my dedication as a blogger, cooking gratis and purely out of love.
I think that what I keep coming back to over and over again is that regardless of how we do it in the kitchen (Ha! Sorry, that sounds gross!), we need to approach it with reckless abandon. In this very short life, we must indulge in the proverbial love affair with cooking (if its our thing), and own the good and the bad that comes with - the hot dogs and the chateaubriand alike. I initially learned to cook because it was what the people I loved did well, and it served as a means of growing closer to them. Why would I ever question anything grown from love?
This month, I encourage you to take a look at what I've been adoring in the kitchen at the moment, along with some of the recipes folks have been buzzing about, to include Chef Tim's incredible pork and chive potstickers. We all need a little more love in our lives, and baby, those dumplings are where it's at.