Hello to all my friends that love the art and companionship that cooking provides. It’s an amazing thing how food brings us all together to share each others company and to make life’s journey far more meaningful.
I come from a long line of professional chefs (I guess cooking is in the blood!) and have spent many hours growing up in the kitchens of restaurants of my family. My grandmother paved the way for part of my family as she came from the south of France as a well trained chef working in the kitchens of busy restaurants. From there, the family moved to Canada for new opportunities and that is where “Memere” became the head chef for the Chateau Frontenac – quite an achievement for a young woman at that time. Not to rest on laurels, it was soon time for new adventure and opportunity. The United States was next on the list where several restaurants were opened, some during the Great Depression where times were challenging, but very hard work, a natural business talent paved the way for success.
My parents, aunts and uncles developed the passion and talent for cooking and eventually owned their own successful restaurants as well. These are the kitchens that I learned so much from. Within those busy kitchen walls I watched like a hawk and participated. I remember my Uncle Jean picking me up while in his white chef’s coat and sitting me on a huge butcher block table in his Cape Cod restaurant and sharing the secrets of some of his amazing and quite famous recipes. With him there in the early morning hours, before the restaurant was to open, he would tell me some of the ingredients I would help him with to make a sauce or prepare other dishes that would require much time simmering on the massive stove.
My Godparents also enlisted my help in their restaurant as a young man and I learned many a secret from them through the years. They specialized in seafood and this is where I developed my love of the gifts from the sea. Living in the number one fishing port in the United States didn’t hurt things either.
I remember being in my parent’s restaurant and watching my father prepare dishes like a gifted painter. I remember how happy he was in that environment – how he lived to turn ordinary ingredients into dishes that people would crave and come back for, sometime on a daily basis! My father loved the kitchen and all that went on inside. It’s probably that observation of his smiling face, whistling a tune, telling me a joke as he prepared his recipes that allowed my passion to always be there for the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.
I’ve been cooking since I can remember – learning from some amazing family members with some pretty impressive experience, and that was my schooling.
I feel so blessed for that kind of opportunity, and search for new things all of the time that I can build upon for new recipes for my family and to share with you!
Enjoy the kitchen with your family and friends,