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September 30, 2010

What it Means to Cook Food Well

Months late, I decided to enter Tony Bourdain's in-my-wildest-dreams writing contest. In short, he asked his dorky foodie readers to write an essay about what it means to "cook food well." There's a voting component--and almost 2000 entries--but I waited until less than 24 hours before the deadline to submit. So, I'm mostly SOL, but it was such a pleasure to write. When I was a kid, I used to say I wrote "for myself." Now I know what that means.

My ears clog when the weather changes, and family members die in the fall. The vision's pretty much gone by the time I'm 30. In a few more years, I'll replace the caramelized shallots on my hot dog with raw Spanish onion. It's here that people usually write, “it's been that way since as long as I can remember.” But for me it hasn't been—these eerily consistent, repetitive trends among me, my dad, that weird divorcee of some distant blood relative in Canada who kept sending Caramilk bars years after she stopped being invited to weddings. I've been tied to certain things, passions and likes that I thought I'd boiled up for myself. It's been that way since I was six, specifically since 11:40 first-session lunch on my first day of school when I got a nurse's summons followed by an afternoon of detention for vomiting my milk all over the lunchroom table.... >


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