This blog is a 2.0 version of another blog by the same name. All of the content from the 1.0 version of the blog is still available at archive.offthemeathook.com. I will be updating and reposting some of my favorite content from the original blog here, in addition to a bunch of new stuff.
I started out with strictly food, but soon realized that as I love to travel and find things and take pictures and be creative in other ways I wanted to expand the site to include some of those things. It is, quite simply, a glimpse into the lifestyle of someone carnivorous and fabulous! Before you think I’m all haughty, I should explain that by “fabulous” I don’t mean to say that I’M fabulous, but rather that I’m lucky to live in a fabulous city with fabulous food and fabulous friends and family and I get to travel to fabulous places and… I think you get it.
I like to know what people look like because then I can picture them while I read what they write, so here is a picture of me drinking beer in Bali. I may or may not have used Photoshop to make myself appear tanner than in real life.
I live in San Francisco where I was born and raised. I spent a lot of time living in San Diego and Brooklyn, plus a bunch of other places all over the world, too. I am a bon vivant; I love eating, and traveling, and laughing, preferably with people who are interesting and lovely and interested and loved. I have had a LOT of different jobs for a person in their 30s. I’ve had almost every single job in a restaurant, from coat check to line cook to server to pastry chef… I owned a couple of really cute boutiques in SF, and a t-shirt company for awhile… and now I work in software and neuroscience. While I’m exceedingly glad to have hung up my toque professionally, I love cooking, eating, creating, inventing, enjoying, and sharing.
My basic cooking philosophy broken down into bullet points:
- If you cook something and it looks or tastes different than you expected, rename it. If it’s ugly, preface it with words like “rustic” or “country-style.” Like, if you make a horribly misshapen tart, call it a rustic tart and there you go, problem solved. (This is a Julia Child trick.)
- Don’t be intimidated by people who are “professionally trained” in cooking. Sometimes those people are bad cooks, while other people are amazing cooks.
- If it doesn’t taste good, it probably needs more salt or more fat or more of both.
- If you make something great, bask in it- you don’t have to be shy about how talented you are.
- If you make something not-so-great, admit it readily but not in a way that makes it seem like you’re fishing for compliments.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you make something and it doesn’t turn out very well… who cares? That’s the great thing about food- it’s completely ephemeral. It’s not like a painting or a sculpture that will endure throughout history. Whether it’s a beautiful and delicious work of art, or a complete trainwreck on a plate- it will either in your belly or in the trash within a few minutes.
As to travel, I like going places and knowing about places. Friends and family constantly call me looking for what restaurant or hotel or place to go to because I like to know things like that. If you have a question about that I would be happy to try and answer it for you! I still have friends in New York, where I haven’t lived in many years, who call me to ask me which subway to take somewhere, or where there’s a public restroom near where they are.
My basic travel philosophy broken down into bullet points:
- On a trip, plan to do one thing every day, not more than that, and do it. If you do extra things they’re just gravy. (I learned this from my future husband.)
- Don’t be afraid, but don’t be naive.
- Try everything once. (OK, almost everything.)
- Take a lot of pictures but only share the best ones.
- Off the beaten path is usually more fun than on… but then again, the beaten path got beaten down for a reason, so don’t write it off.
- Everyone knows you’re a tourist. It’s OK. Don’t be shy about pulling out the map and the guide book and asking strangers for directions. You’re not fooling them anyway.
- If you’re going somewhere they don’t speak English, try to learn how to say the numbers 1-10, hello, goodbye, and thank you, plus about 5 additional important words or phrases. These will vary depending on where you go. For example if you’re going somewhere that they like to bargain you will need to learn how to say things like “are you kidding?” and “no way!” and “get outta here!”.
- Anywhere you go in the world can be fun and interesting if you have the right attitude.