A French woman once told me that eating well is more than eating enough; eating well is about pleasure, and it is about relationships.
Too often we see food as inherently good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. We get lost trying to sift through conflicting messages of what we should and should not eat, backed by shifting science that is largely interpretive and biased. I believe in real food. By real food, I don’t mean just plants – I mean any food that holds significant social and emotional value. Food that connects us to the earth, to each other, to our own identities. It could be an artisanal French cheese steeped in hundreds of years of tradition and national heritage. It could be s’mores eaten around a campfire on a family camping trip, a relic of childhood and culture. It could be an egg your own backyard chicken laid, or the blackberries you picked by the side of the highway on a road trip. Real food fulfills a need inside all of us that is greater than hunger. This blog is largely an exploration of food, the places it comes from, and the people it connects us with. It is filled with descriptions and photographs of food I tasted, cooked at home, and ate at a restaurant. It is also filled with descriptions of the experiences embodied in food, in travel, in the day-to-day. It’s a haphazard attempt to share bits and pieces of my life that I want to let breathe, to become more beautiful by transferring them onto somebody else.
I am not a photographer. I have no formal culinary training. I can’t afford to eat at trendy restaurants every other day. To be honest, I don’t even have a proper oven, and my arsenal of kitchen tools is limited to one good knife, basic cutlery, a whisk, a spatula, and a wooden spoon. But I love food, and I don’t think that you have to have a thousand dollar camera or a Pinterest-worthy kitchen to blog about it. This is my real life, unglamorous and unedited.
My name is Stephanie. I grew up in Marin County, the lush plot of land that stretches from San Francisco to Napa Valley. We have redwood forests and golden hills that roll into the Pacific, rocky beaches and dairy farms and the Bay spreading its fingers throughout the county. Right now I live in Paris, where I am finishing up a master’s degree in global communications from the American University of Paris, with a focus on food studies. Living in France taught me how to experience food. It isn’t just the flaky croissants and the crusty baguettes and the hundreds of cheeses and wines, not to mention the plethora of classic French dishes that basically taught the rest of the world how to cook, but the whole culture surrounding food. The idea that a meal should be enjoyed, slowly and with conversation; that food means more than just something to satisfy hunger. This is something that changed my life, and it’s something I want to share with me wherever I go.