There was a time in my life when I couldn’t eat a lot of things. Anything with whole grains, most fresh fruits and vegetables, any type of drink with carbonation, and chocolate. Yes, chocolate.
For six whole years I was restricted to the strictest of diets and believe me, it was really, really hard.
But then things changed and my health improved and all of a sudden I wasn’t that person anymore that had to refuse certain dishes or go without when everyone else was enjoying that scrumptious dessert or that Café Rio salad. I truly became a new person when I could eat anything I wanted. It was revolutionary.
Food is such an integral part of our lives. “Food is memories” as one of my favorite movies attests. And at least for me, it’s been an intrinsic part of my family’s life. My mom is a caterer, my Aunt Lanell is a caterer, my aunt Nancy is one of the best chefs I know, my dad says that if he could do his life over again he’d go to culinary school. I come from a long line of amazing cooks and entertainers so it’s only natural that I would have a similar love for really good food. We’re not talking fancy food - that I haven’t had a lot of. I’m more referring to well prepared food - the kind of food that keeps your mouth watering or that you find reoccurring in your day dreams. The kind of food that you can’t stop thinking about or find yourself driving totally out of your way to get. It’s the food that is linked so closely with special moments and it’s food that’s so good, you don’t want it to end. You would kill for another bite.
The bags of butter popcorn that I ate every day for an entire semester. Popcorn was also on the list of “don’ts” during those six years so when it was put on the list of “yes’s” I couldn’t get enough of it.
The garlic cheese that is served with crackers or homemade pretzels during our Friday breaks at work.
The rib eye steak I had in Vegas while on a trip to visit my friend Courtney.
The lemon meltaways my mom makes for events and weddings. They’re just small enough that I can eat 20 of them without realizing it. Even if I did realize it, I wouldn’t care. And then I would eat another 20.
The Wafel a la Quiche at Belga Café.
My own coconut curry soup made from a recipe I found on Pinterest.
The Skirt Steak with bubbling mashed potatoes and bacon at Liberty Tavern (only served during winter much to my dismay).
Diet Frozen Lemonades from Chick-Fil-A.
But there is one dish that tops my list. I think I would say it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten and I’m still reeling from it and trying to figure out how to eat it again.
Chilean Sea Bass with purple sticky rice, sweet corn, lemongrass broth, a crispy oyster, and microgreens.
Okay, this does sound a little bit like fancy food. And it actually was.
I worked at an event a couple weeks ago and this was the main course. I helped the two chefs get all the hot plates out to the guests and since they had an extra I was invited to try. Not one that’s usually excited about sea food I was somewhat skeptical, but as I took my first bite, my mind was changed. By bite three I had started giggling. It was soooooo good. My mouth had never experienced something like that before. Every bite was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the combination of flavors was like magic to my taste buds. As I was nearing the end of the dish I realized I did not want it to end. I wanted there to be an endless supply of Chilean Sea Bass. I didn’t want to eat anything else ever again and I didn’t want to take the last bite because then it would be over. I’m being dramatic, I know, but don’t you know what I mean? Something that tastes so good it’s almost transcendent?
Dessert was equally as amazing – Salted Caramel Pie with a chocolate graham crust, rich caramel, fleur de sel, homemade vanilla bean ice cream, and homemade whipped cream to top it off.
I hope I’m not the only one that has experiences like this with food. Please tell me I’m not. I think good food and even better company make for the best of times. Give me something delicious, the people that I love, a warm summer evening, and a shaded deck and I will tell you that there is nothing more perfect than that.
As one columnist wrote, "The next best thing to eating food, is talking about it."