As a retired personal chef, I know this all too well. It’s amazing how picky some people can be when it comes to their food. I’d meet with a client to go over their list of likes, dislikes, allergies, and possible menus. One person would love the taste of onions, but didn’t want to see them in their food. The texture made them gag. Another couldn’t abide green peppers, while the next would be a total vegan.
Learning to cook around these constraints was a challenge. It made me wonder what is it about our psyche that affects the way we look at and relate to our food.
The taste of homemade chicken and dumplings comforts, or the smell of fish or cabbage can remind a person of a bad experience.
Food is necessary for life, but it can also be an addiction.
It can lead us into judgment of others. I know I’m guilty of watching an obese person eat and wondering why they can’t control their appetites. This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, because I’m overweight, and I’m sure the skinny girl at the next table is thinking the same about me.
Food is also the enemy of some. I know of a girl who committed suicide because of an eating disorder. Her view of herself was framed in the mirror of society’s view of beauty. The sad truth was that she was beautiful inside and out, but her distorted self-image killed her.
Food can also be an artistic expression. The proper presentation of a dish can be seductive, the aroma as inviting as any Parisian perfume.
I love to develop new recipes. Sometimes they spring out of my imagination fully formed, others come from a basic recipe that I tweak until it no longer resembles the original dish. There’s nothing I like more than to make a dessert, especially one that’s gluten free, and watch the eyes of the person eating it. Their look of wonder never fails to give me a thrill—just as a slight frown will leave me searching for where I went wrong. The mixture of spices and herbs becomes an art form. A crusty loaf of bread and a glass of good wine can be a feast.
My talents are small compared to the chefs I watch on television. It never ceases to amaze me what they can do with a little bit of sugar or a good piece of steak.
I am in awe.
Excerpt from RECIPE FOR LOVE
“Oh, oh…” Her words died off as she spied the pies. It would be so tempting to wipe that smirk off his face with a big dose of coconut cream—the chocolate silk belonged to her. Tilly planned to enjoy every forkful after Jordan got his, right in the kisser. Her fingers edged closer to the saucer holding the pie. He was so going to pay.
“No you don’t.” He stood and made a grab for her hand before she could carry out her plot.
About RECIPE FOR LOVE
Sparks and insults fly when celebrity chef Tilly Danes matches wits with the annoyingly sexy Jordan Kelly. As members of the judging panel for the Culinary Channel’s Personal Chef Showdown, they agree on only one thing: Maxwell Etheridge, the third judge on their panel is an arrogant pain in the butt. Neither one would mind seeing him strung up like a ham hock. When their nemesis shows up not only dead but also missing an important body part, Tilly and Jordan are thrust smack in the middle of TV’s most shocking homicide…
Everyone is a suspect: the show’s host, the contestants, and even the victim’s lover. When Tilly and Jordan are pulled deeper into the investigation, those pesky sparks of antagonism transform into undeniable, incredibly inconvenient, red-hot attraction. And if they thought the sparks were hot while fighting, the heat between the sheets is an inferno. As the bodies start piling up, Tilly and Jordan must find the killer—and a recipe for love—before they become the murderer’s next course!