Just yesterday I was able to help a woman looking to use a vanilla bean for the first time. She didn't know where to find it, or what to do with it, and how it differed from extract.
I was also able to give a couple of people a mini-history lesson on why black rice is called "Forbidden Rice." They loved it and it intrigued them so much they bought it.
You might not think grocery stores are magical places, but let me tell you, mine is. I get to spend all day among a variety of ingredients, from all over the world, and it is my job to learn about them and pass that knowledge on to others.
I might never get around to trying every single thing we carry, but I'm going to try. And I'm going to try and know as much about those things as I can. So if you ever need to know what cheese pairs well with a fig jam, or what is a cheap champagne you can take on a picnic, or how olives might be paired with salmon, I can help.
It's been quite a journey to get to where I am. But I do feel like I'm doing something I can be proud of. And I have a lot of people to thank for setting me on this road. First is my Mom and my Gramie, who let me help them in the kitchen as a little girl and for letting me lick the spoon and beaters. And to my parents, who made me help with dinner as I grew up, even though sometimes it seemed like a chore. To Jonathan, who wasn't afraid of epicureanism in the home. Who made me my first frog leg, duck fat potato, and olive oil ice cream sundae. To Lis, who encouraged my mad scientist ways and still does. To Michael, who pushed me not to just make food, but know it. To the WS Gang, for always being willing to explore a new cuisine and eat like there is no tomorrow. And to Reid, who supports me, is proud of me, and tells me I am good at what I do, even when something goes wrong. And to the rest of you, if you've ever eaten anything of mine and told me you liked it, or have wanted to, or even just for being my friend, foodie or not. Thank you.