Mom is a great cook, and sit-down family dinners were the norm growing up, not reserved solely for holidays or special occasions. I have been an avid home cook — and an even more committed eater — ever since.
After finally leaving a corporate job, I enrolled in culinary school and am now a chef at a top San Francisco restaurant, a cooking instructor, and a personal chef. After more than 20 years in the Bay Area — where a hot new restaurant, farmer’s market, passionate shopkeeper, food truck, or tasty product pops up every week — I long ago decided life is too short to eat bad food. Fortunately, San Francisco makes it easy to feed this passion for food. I’ve been fortunate to travel beyond our beautiful Bay Area to other corners of the world, always seeming to plan my itinerary around food. Countless times I’ve lingered over an amazing bowl of pasta only to miss the quirky hours of the must-see cathedral.
My best and most evocative memories all involved sitting down for a meal with family or friends. The meal is always the event. Searching out fresh, seasonal foods and balanced with regular exercise is my key to a happy and healthy life. Not a quick rush of nutrients to run back to the office, shuttle to the swim meet, or as prelude to the movie. Eating together at home improves communication skills and manners. And it introduces kids to new and healthier food. Our ancestors built ceremonies around “‘the kill,” teaching lessons in compromise, sharing, and citizenship. Other cultures still carve out family downtime to enjoy time together over a nice meal. So shut off the TV. Turn off the phones. Slow down, breath, and enjoy a meal at home.