Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A moment of clarity

A lot of times you realize where we are long after you made the turn down that road.  As cooks and eaters, we are unwittingly analyzing our food, noting roots and influences, mapping our detours, and remembering landmarks.  At certain points along the way, if we stop and look around, we're surprised to find how far we've come and how much we've seen.  We become more intuitive, get a better sense of direction and finally our purpose starts to shape up.  We can define our values, envision plates, and throw in a couple of snarky jokes about "foams" to boot.  We finally know where we're going. 

Since coming back from living and traveling in Central America, I have been noticing our proud food heritage here in the South. The ingredients we used to define our table, all overlap with those of Mexico, Central America and further south.  Plates of sweet corn, ripe tomatoes, spicy chiles, unctuous pork, and fluffy rice.  "Grits" aren't too far off from "guisa" and "chow chow" looks a lot like "vegetales encurtidos."  I started to see how foods I would consider distinctly Southern aren't as distinct as I thought.  While we've been serving up plates of humble tradition for generations now, there was an opportunity to grow in a different direction.  To try and redefine what I felt was familiar cooking.  Beans, rice and tortillas for breakfast had become as comforting and normal to me as a bowl of grits and toast.

This is it...my direction.  I've wanted to focus on the similarities and overlaps of the two cuisines while keeping certain traditions and concepts unique.  Bringing together familiar ingredients, with foreign preparations almost as the next step in my own food evolution.  Crossroads cooking.  This is my forum and will be my opportunity to share what I've found along the way.  Soon there will be a long, banged up, wooden, table for ten and I'll be serving all of these dishes to those who want to be there.  This is our jumping off point, our PushStart.


  1. I had no idea! Love this - so glad to be a follower!!

  2. Glad to have you! Keep checking back. There's more where this came from.