I’ve decided I can be an Ambassador of food. My new fabulous role.
When we used to live in Gig Harbor (Washington USA) I started a cooking club of like-minded friends. Usually I taught the class and it focused on teaching one of the cuisines I had learned while on a recent trip somewhere in the world. We also met a few other times when other cooking club
members organized events such as wine tasting, and a class with a chef at a local restaurant.
Our Cooking Club included 14 super fun people. Our time together was always interesting and educational. And always involved lots of food and
Since I left the USA the cooking club kind of fell apart. But I returned determined to bring it back together, at least for one performance, while I was here in Gig Harbor.
Yesterday eleven of our fourteen cooks gathered
at the home of one of the members and I taught a class on Vietnamese and Thai cooking. We had this on the calendar for several months. But the suicide of my cooking, traveling, world ambassador mentor Anthony Bourdain weighed heavy on my mind – particularly since Vietnamese cuisine I knew was Anthony’s favorite.
I decided I wanted to talk to my cooking friends about how overwhelmingly sad I felt that Anthony Bourdain chose to take his life. So that discussion is how we began our class. Everyone felt the same lost and shocked feeling – all of us knowing it could have been prevented. We talked a while about Tony and about suicide and about our country and its many troubles. And then to ease some of that heartache, we began to cook.
It was fun, chaotic, delicious and exhausting. I love to teach and this kind of event comes very naturally to me, but it was tough cooking and teaching in someone else kitchen. But we made it work, didn’t burn the house down, and had a great time. In Tony’s memory.
I realize, through teaching new cuisines to open-minded cooks, that I am in my own small way, an ambassador like Anthony. I’ve talked about this before – how I see my world travel as an ambassador role. Showing people around the world what “real” Americans are like. So it’s another way to open minds and hearts – I can bring cuisines back here to my friends, help them embrace new cultures and experiences and make the world a better place, one delicious mouthful at a time.
It’s certainly not Parts Unknown. But it makes me feel happy.
I’m grateful to this group of cooks who enjoy the same things I enjoy and so I’ve given them a challenge – I promise to teach another class when I come back to the USA again next summer, but on one condition. They must organize themselves and have at least one Cooking Club event while I am out of the country.
Challenge on. Let’s make Tony proud.