Re-igniting a Passion

I launched Three Plates 7 months ago with the intent of blogging 2-3 times per week.  Have you ever heard the old saying “my eyes were bigger than my stomach”?  That’s the analogy that works best for how realistic that goal was.  Other things like laundry, running, being a mom, and even just sitting down to watch Project Runway took priority over writing.  It’s easy to postpone something that I’m not accountable for to anyone but myself.  However, it’s a creative and professional outlet for me that I crave and that keeps me sane.

Not achieving my original goal of 2-3 posts per week by no means represents a lost passion about the idea.  In fact, I had so many potential topics running around in my head that it was difficult for me to pick just one to sit down and write about.

Two thing happened over the past month that re-ignited my passion for real food.

In late September, my husband and I flew to Nashville (my first post-pregnancy flight – I need to get out more!) for the Music City Food + Wine Festival.  I’m still pinching myself over how amazing that was.  For two days, we sampled high-end cuisine from Nashville’s best restaurants, sat in on cooking demos by world-renowned chefs like Tyler Florence, Andrew Zimmern, and Michael Symon, and attended an exclusive Harvest Night event sampling food prepared and served by famous chefs (in addition to Florence, Zimmern, and Symon), Aaron Sanchez, Masaharu Morimoto, Amanda Freitag, Jonathan Waxman, Tim Love, and Levon Wallace.  It really doesn’t get much better than that for a foodie like me.

Stopping for a picture during Day 1 of eating some of the most amazing food we've ever tasted.  I'm surprised we don't have plates in our hands.

Stopping for a picture during Day 1 of eating some of the most amazing food we’ve ever tasted. I’m surprised we don’t have plates in our hands because we NEVER stopped eating.  And I may or may not have 10 duck fat caramels stashed in my satchel.I met Iron Chef Michael Symon - one of the nicest celebrity chefs on the planet.I met Iron Chef Michael Symon – one of the nicest celebrity chefs on the planet.

Watching Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto's sushi-making demo (without subtitles!).

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s sushi-making demo (without subtitles!).

Couldn't pass up this photo op of my husband with Chef Andrew Zimmern as he served us his dish at Harvest Night.

Couldn’t pass up this photo op of my husband with Chef Andrew Zimmern as he served us his dish at Harvest Night.  And, no, it wasn’t Rocky Mountain Oysters.

On Day 2 I met Chef Tyler Florence! His cookbook "Start Fresh" was a lifesaver during my homemade baby food stage of life.

On Day 2 I met Chef Tyler Florence! His cookbook “Start Fresh” was a lifesaver during my homemade baby food stage of life.

As if that wasn’t enough to inspire me, I started a culinary boot camp at the Chopping Block in Chicago last Sunday.  The boot camp takes place over five consecutive Sundays to learn intense hands-on culinary skills and techniques.  It’s a chance to learn most of the skills someone would learn in culinary school, but on a much shorter and accelerated timeline.  So far, in just one day I learned about knife skills, fish butchery (I filleted a whole Arctic Char!), fish cookery, fish stock, and emulsions.  Whew.  Can’t wait for the rest.

I thought I had a passion for food before.  It’s nothing like the passion I have inside of me now.  For so many years my husband would ask me “what’s your thing?”.  His “thing” is music.  He’s like a moth to a flame for any variety of live music.  If there’s a record store within 25 miles of anywhere we go – he’ll make a stop to check it out.  He has even taught the triplets how to clean a vinyl record, and they were sporting Allman Brothers and Nirvana t-shirts before age 3.

I’ve finally figured it out.  Food is my “thing”.  I’m obsessed with new cookbooks.  Going to the grocery store is so therapeutic.  I get giddy about visiting a restaurant that serves high-quality food.  And, now, taking culinary boot camp is a dream come true.

Whenever someone is really good at something or famous for something, they always seem to say, “I’ve been doing this since I was 5 years old”.  Tiger Woods started golfing when he was 3.  Can’t a passion or talent take shape later on in life?  Of course it can.

Don’t ever think it’s too late to find your passion – whatever it is.  Don’t ever stop learning and re-igniting that passion.  It’s easy to get into a rut and become uninspired.  It’s just as easy to become INSPIRED again.

Thank you for being patient with the progress of Three Plates as I figure it out.  I look forward to creating original recipes, sharing my favorite existing ones, and providing you with new information and inspiration.  Maybe not 2-3 times a week (passion or not, there’s still laundry to do!), but definitely more than before.

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