Some kids know exactly what they want to do when they’re four years old. Be it a doctor, policeman, or astronaut, most kids seem to have some notion of a dream job at an early age. Sure, many of them probably go on to become something entirely different, but they put a stake in the ground that their parents can reminisce about during adulthood visits home.
I was a bit different. Few things could hold my attention for more than a few days, so it was hard to get too fixated on any one career. If I were born 10 years later, I probably would have been diagnosed with ADD and put on a regimen of Ridlin. My interests fluctuated more than 80’s hairstyles. One day I’d be begging for an electronic keyboard for Christmas, like a salivating dog pleading for a piece of pot-roast, only to tire of it by New Year’s Day. Video game consoles were a safer bet because you could interchange the cartridges (am I dating myself?), but I’d rarely play a game from start to finish before boredom set in and I’d take the game apart to see what was inside.
When it came time for college I had no idea what I wanted to major in, so I picked the easiest school to get into, and went in undeclared. Five years, three schools, and a handful of majors later, I somehow managed to emerge with a degree in communications. This was akin to going to the French Laundry and ordering french fries because I couldn’t decide what I wanted.
It didn’t really matter though, because by this time, I was already on my second career leading a team of web designers at a tech startup. A fascination with technology is one theme that carried through my childhood. Lacking the Asian math gene as it were, web design was my ticket into Silicon Valley.
Another theme that’s been with me since childhood is a love for travel and photography. With parents living on two continents and the rest of my family on a third, I spent most of my childhood summers somewhere between Australia, California and Japan. I learned at a young age, that getting on a plane meant escaping my banal suburban existence, and it fast became an adventure I craved. I lump photography into this bucket because I got my first camera while traveling, and I loved the way it could capture those transient moments when I felt most alive.
The last theme is one that’s stuck with me like eggs on a cold pan. If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s food. I’ve been in the kitchen since before I can remember, and I was making my own birthday cakes before I’d left elementary school. One might preclude that I should have become a chef in a restaurant, but the long hours, and often thankless job, never appealed to me much. The closest thought to a career in food came to me after reading Ruth Reichl’s Tender At The Bone. I pictured myself living the life of a food writer, but that seemed like such an impossibility given my professional life at the time, in direct-response marketing (my third career).
Imagine my delight when I moved to one of the best eating cities in America, and I discovered Yelp. I didn’t know anyone here back then, so I spent my evenings exploring the gastronomic wonderland that is Manhattan, and my nights writing about it for an audience that cared. Like kindling on an ember, my interest in food writing was soon roaring out of control. One thing I love more than eating out, is cooking though, so when I finally moved into my apartment and the shininess of the endless stream of restaurants wore off, I started cooking again. I’d cook for friends, colleagues, or even strangers, and this endeavor would inevitably lead to a request for a recipe; to which my response was almost always “no recipe”.
I started this blog as a place to teach my friends technique, while giving them the confidence and inspiration to cook without recipes, but it’s grown into much more than that. It’s become a place were over a hundred thousand readers like you come to check out my adventures in the kitchen each month. It’s also become the dream job that I never knew existed as a child.
It wasn’t until much later, but it occurred to me that food blogging is the confluence of all those childhood themes I mentioned. That’s why I believe I have what it takes to be the next food blog star, and why I’m asking for your help to make it happen. Foodbuzz has set out to find the next big thing in food blogging, and they’ve set out 10 challenges, where you can vote on each challenge to decide who makes it to the next round. Check out my contestant profile, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my RSS feed so you know when each challenge goes live. Then, be sure to vote during the following dates:
- Ready, Set, Blog! – SEP 20-23
- The Classics – SEP 27-30
- Luxury Dinner Party – OCT 04-07
- Picture Perfect – OCT 11-14
- Recipe Remix – OCT 18-21
- Road Trip! – OCT 25-28
- Video 411 – NOV 08-11
- Piece of Cake – NOV 15-18
- You’re the Critic – NOV 29-27
- The Final Post – DEC 06-09
If you’re wondering what the deal is with all the desserts, it’s because life is sweet when you’re doing something you love. I hope you enjoy reading NoRecipes as much as I enjoy writing it!