W here I grew up, recipes weren’t passed from person to person as precise instructions. Very few were even written down. Instead, they were shared like
stories, or learned by watching closely like an apt apprentice. If you wanted to learn to master a dish, you watched, listened, practiced, made
mistakes, and eventually you developed a mastery of it, even making the dish your own in some way.
This is exactly how the best lessons in life happen – through the sharing of stories; by watching, listening to, and learning from those who have been where you want (and sometimes don’t want) to go.
The Good Life Cookbook is a collection of recipes for food and recipes for life. Since I enjoy experimenting with both, this blog is where I reflect on which recipes have been successes and which I should keep tinkering with until I have them mastered.
A word of caution: The recipes here are not exact. They are meant to inspire you to go and create your own version of each dish. There is a chance that things might get messy. There may be a few spills and lots of tiny little tweaks and adjustments along the way. But, I hope you will savor every moment of it. I know I will.
About the Author
At an early age, I started experimenting… with food. I’d watch cooking shows on TV featuring world-renowned chefs and try to imitate their actions in my grandmother’s kitchen. Mostly I succeeded in messing up my grandmother’s groceries, but I kept experimenting, messing up, and experimenting some more until I actually got to be pretty good in the kitchen.
As a young adult, my work travels took me to many different cities around the US. My colleagues and I made a habit of seeking out the best-known and best-kept-secret restaurants that each new city had to offer. It was a way to ease the woes of being on the road, and a prime opportunity for me to experience the real-life flavors and expert kitchen witchery I’d dreamed about as a kid.
Soon, it occurred to me that my relationship with food closely mirrored my relationship with life. I enjoyed seeking out well-known and best-kept-secret ideas and experiences. I hungrily pounced on opportunities to expand my palate with new and unconventional ideas, while still drawing sustenance and nostalgic comfort from more familiar flavors. I devoured the conversations and diverse perspectives that my dining companions and I shared as our taste buds were properly stimulated and our glasses were adequately filled.
I guess you can say that food was my gateway drug.
I’m so thrilled you found your way to the table. Pull up a chair, and grab a plate. There’s plenty to go around.
What Is a Bon Vivant?
bon . vivant Etymology:French, literally,‘good liver’
Definition: noun; a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink.
Being a bon vivant is all about living the ‘good life’.
For me, the ‘good life’ is not one that focuses on extravagance and excess, but one that hones in on the simplest of life’s pleasures: a well-prepared meal, a song that resonates in your heart, a book that leaves a lasting impression, a trip that expands your horizons. Any experience that elevates the everyday to the elegant.