“My daughters are the apples of my eyes, my sons are the thorns in my ass.”
“I still can’t tell if you’re the dumbest genius in the world or the smartest imbecile”
– Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint-Exupery (author of The Little Prince)
As Head of Content at Goghism I’m mainly responsible for making sure we sound good… well…. that what we’re putting out there is a product we can be proud of standing behind.
I’ve never thought of myself as a foodie, a connoisseur, a critic, or someone who has a passion for food and cooking. I’ve always admired people that were truly enamored and curious about a specific subject… and thought I was still in search of mine.
It wasn’t until only a few years ago while I was living in a small Ukrainian town dreaming of Five Guys, where I had my spiritual awakening. It wasn’t really all that dramatic, I’m not even comfortable saying that I’m “passionate”, it was more just a realization that I think with my stomach.
Whenever I visit my parents in New York my mom asks if there’s anything I want to see, I always laugh while pushing forward a list of places I want to eat.
When visiting a friend of mine in India he warned me that my system might not be ready for the street food, I asked him if the street was ready for me.
My sister tricked me into eating dog treats, I went through about four before she stopped me. I was just trying to figure out why she enjoyed them.
I got yelled at by a supervisor for eating a meal with an inviting family in a small Mexican town; after having sat through an hour long seminar on the dangers of eating the food and how to politely decline.
Someone once told me “for someone who hates traveling, you seem to spend a lot of time out of town”. He was right, I do hate traveling, but the stomach hungers, and it must be satisfied…
I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have had glimpses and tastes of the finer side: wine tasting in France, paella in Barcelona, high tea in a British compound, fish caught right out of the sea and cut into while still flapping, tables in high buildings with higher prices.
To be honest, it was all wasted on me. The food memories that stuck, that sunk into the very fabric of my being were of a simpler, earthier nature.
Cracking lamb bones next to a roaring fire, grease dripping down my chin in a yurt in Mongolia. Loaves of bread and shots of vodka, sitting on a log next to a river in Ukraine. Chicken feet and chives in a village in the outskirts of Beijing. KFC family meal on a park bench, Waffle House on Christmas morning, hangover stew in a Korean bath house, durian off a stall in Cambodia, daal from a cleaning lady in India. The stomach does not lie and its mind is clear.
I am shy, self conscious, socially awkward, and lazy. But I am both servant to and lover with my stomach, it leads me down dark paths and around colorful corners, and I can do nothing but follow.