I am a cook by trade - not a chef, far from it really - I have no formal education in the culinary arts, but its been my livelihood for nearly a decade. I spent most of my late teens and early 20s in the kitchen - ranging from fast food, casual dining, or at home, learning skills and techniques from more experienced cooks, my mother, and my own experimentation. I'm proud to say that I rose from the ranks of prep team to head cook at two different restaurants. Far too often, I wasn't taken seriously - I'm a tiny little girl with a full face of makeup, limp wrists, and noodle arms. In an industry dominated by men, I certainly seemed out of place, but I take shit from no one - at least in the kitchen, and it paid off. I worked every day with my best friends doing something that I really enjoyed - even though I couldn't wear nail polish for years.
If I'm honest with you, which I always try to be, my techniques aren't that refined. I care very little for plating aesthetics and perfectly even cuts - though I have a secret passion for intricate, individually assembled salads - don't tell! I always eyeball my spices and herbs and I never measure (which is why I rarely bake!). I put a dash of Frank's Red Hot and a few sprigs of parsley in just about everything. I hand write, and rewrite, my recipes in a notebook that's definitely seen better days.
My food philosophies may be a skewed as well - at least compared to the typical food blogger. I grew up somewhere very cold, quite poor, and definitely food-insecure - you've probably never heard of it, or if you have, Sasha Baron Cohen probably gave you a terrible impression of it. I ate staple foods that were meant to keep me full, but not necessarily taste that great. Wasting food is was, and still is, out of the question for me. Now that I'm living in Australia, where plenty of fresh and affordable produce is available to me year round, I'm more than making the most out of it! I'm doing my best to update the bland Eastern European foods that I grew up on with higher quality produce, as well as come up with recipes for all the new fruits I've been trying!
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that in a blogosphere full of pretentious foodies and mothers that play amateur chefs, I think I can strike a balance. I intend to share just one or two recipes a month. Easy meals, with maybe one or two ingredients you've never thought to use, or a new method of preparation for you to try. I want to share my culinary gardening journey as well - I'm hoping to expand from basic herbs to edible flowers. I believe in a vegetable based diet, a good paring knife, and making my husband cut the onions. I'd love to cook for you.