Those who know my father, know he likes food. I remember him telling me that food is culture, culture is food, and that’s one of the reasons I have traveled the world, eating my way through eastern Europe, as well as up and down France. You see, my father is like most men, he loves his steak and potatoes, but he is an Italian man, so instead of potatoes, you get pasta — of all kinds, and meat — all sorts, crazy sorts, like sausage he gets from a pork farm in the middle of no-where.
For me, going to the pork farm, where they slaughtered the pigs and made them into the sausage was just part of growing up. It’s what my father and I did, together. After we secured the sausage, we would go on a spree, from deli to grocery store, and back home to begin making sauce. Then came the grating of cheeses, I hastily would get the Parmigiano-Reggiano grated, just in time to be part of the ritual passing out of cheese. This was that amazing moment, where my father would slice the fresh mozzarella, and I would eat it. He would pass it out to me and my sister, while attempting to put some aside for the lasagna. The next day, we ate the lasagna. For breakfast, lunch and dinner. Together, as a family.
Simply, my father and I share this love of food to the inner cores of our stomachs.
Flash forward ten years, and I am now working with the finest meats, cheeses, breads — in a place that the owners originally wanted to call “The Butcher and the Baker.” Behind it is a really amazing story, of an unrelated family of people, all with some sort of beautiful gift of creating a warm welcoming, delicious place, and all working really hard to achieve something amazing. And they have.
It’s beyond nice to be welcomed into this family, and even more amazing is to eat with this family of people literally devoted to food.
Having jumped since as far back as I could remember to eat, I have found this constant warmth in my belly and little gut I am gaining makes me truly happy. It’s nice to be here, starting my life all over again, finding my way, learning lots, and finally getting into a happy, healthy place. It’s even nicer to do so while eating carrot cake (last night) or oysters (night before), or my personal favorite and one that reminds me of home, sausage and pasta.
I miss my father immensely, but every time I sample a new cheese (tonight it is nearly a half pound of cashel blue on a baguette), I get reminded of the awesomeness that is food, and one value my father shared with me, and I am beyond thankful for.