About the Back Burner

I go in. My earliest memory of doing so, I was around ten. I was half way through learning ninja sign language (from Frank Nero’s character in the scene from Enter the Ninja where he’s about to graduate from ninja school), when my best friend said I might be missing the big picture. What makes ninjas cool is their physical ability! I took his point, borrowed my mom’s walking weights, dug a hole in the yard, and spent all afternoon jumping out of it with lead tied to my legs.

When I decided to be a chef, it followed a similar pattern.

I’d been cooking several years by the time I attended The Culinary Institute of America. Once, I recall wondering, aloud, whether a pizza with quail egg and caviar (offered at a campus eatery) wasn’t the foreshadow of a restaurant featuring a full menu of fetal cuisine. Enough non-nervous laughter resulted to suggest I had hit on something. We sometimes overlook how odd our tastes become over time. Once again, a friend noted that I might be missing the point. What makes chefs cool is their ability to make things flavorful! To occupy my mind, I again turned to the technical end, I re-focused on line-cooking -which is a lot like leaping from a hole with weights on your ankles. I always thought.

Over years of contemplating food in some sense or other, “foodways” became a more freequent focus of curiosity. Eventually kids came into my life, with their innocent way of questioning everything. Ultimately, my children changed the way I look at almost everything, and inspired me to put my observations in print.

This corner of the internet is dedicated to the intersection of fathering and foodways (the eating habits and culinary practices of people). That and… well… documenting the odd act of going in.







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