The kitchen in my house, growing up, was a kind of multi-purpose room. It was first a place to be fed, but it was also a place to gather, a place to think and to talk and to tell. It was also a place of devotion, a kind of sanctuary. And it was my mother, quiet and patient, who spent so much of her time there, alone. So many hours of the day, in such close touch with something that was natural, she would chop and stir and taste and season. This was long before I could ever articulate why, but the kitchen was calling out to me.
There was something about the quiet presence of a cook in his kitchen, not unlike the shaman in her temple, that impressed a certain air over those he served when he left the kitchen to join them. And let me make clear that, as rapacious as I am, so often one-sighted in my pursuit of what tastes good, my love and interest and reverence for food and cooking began out of a desire to serve. There is a kind of power in the ability to lift one’s spirits through the service of your own creation. After all, what good is it to labor and to toil over a steaming pot of goodness if, at the end of the day, it is only you at the table, mutely considering the great work of your hands? I’m grasping for some metaphor here, the way the kitchen is like a quiet place inside us where we go to figure things out, to find peace somewhere or to make things right with ourselves, and to touch and taste and notice and, ultimately, prune, so that when we finally make our way out of it, we can share what good we’ve managed to find with those on the outside. This budding philosophy, still very nascent and not totally considered, is a lot like my own culinary pursuits. I still have so much to learn.
When I started Bread+Bourbon, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I still don’t. But I think this is another attempt to serve and to share. My hope is that these pictures and words you see here on this site, however trivial or silly they might sometimes be, will be a kind of call-to-action, a firm shove to get you into the kitchen.