It's a Brave New World!

The most unlikely suspects are throwing around terms like "terroir", "sustainable" and "artisan". We care where our food comes from, which explains the popularity of documentaries such as "Food Inc." or "Super Size Me". You ask a 7 year old what his favorite TV show is and he has to decide between "Top Chef" or "Chopped"... I LOVE IT !

Although the term "foodie" is not a new term (the word was coined by Paul Levy and Ann Barr in 1981); there are definitely more of us out there. A "foodie" can be of any age, economic class or ethnic background. Foodies are not food snobs, it's just that food is a passion. Searching for the best breakfast or the ultimate food and wine experience are just some of the pastimes a person who loves food may care about.

Maybe my ear is tuned to conversations about food, but it seems everyone is talking openly about their most intimate food experiences. Whether I am waiting for the color to set in at my monthly visit to the beauty salon (yes, chefs do color their hair), or standing in the line at the movies; people are talking about food.

Our growing interest covers everything from celebrity chefs (I remember thinking "that will be the day!") to "farmer's marketing" (maybe I just made up that term). We have our unbridled opinion of what tastes good. An entire dialog can center around the topic of "to stuff or not stuff" the turkey. That may explain why Food Network is seen in more than ninety million households. What's more, is you can Google almost any dish on the world wide web and get pages of recipes. Who knew?

Having grown up around pear and walnut orchards, I smile thinking about folks from the big city paying to tour our farms and vineyards. As a resident of Northern California, I'm relieved and proud of our growth again in Agri Business. As a chef, I'm comforted by the access to walnuts, pears, grapes, squash, heirloom tomatoes (and fortunately the list goes on, and on), all in our "carbon footprint".

This is the first article I've written for the the Unexpected Chef. Stay tuned for tips, tricks, recipes and stories from my life as a chef in upcoming articles. I am a chef, food lover and curious cook. I love sharing my culinary research with anyone who cares to listen (by the way, you can also listen to me Sunday's on KPFZ, 88.1 FM from 11 to noon!).
Please help me out and share anything you'd like to see in future articles. You can email me here.
"Dobry Apetyt!" (that's Polish for "good appetite").

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