Monday, May 5, 2008
I grew up in a family in love with food. We planned dinner over breakfast and then spent the rest of the day shopping for groceries, cooking, running back to the store for forgotten ingredients, cooking some more, and then eating. Otherwise we spent the day carefully deliberating over which restaurant to go to and then on what to order when we got there.
But I really became obsessed with food when I moved away to college. I couldn’t afford to eat out on my student budget. If I was to satisfy my cravings, I had to learn to make all of my favorite foods myself. It seemed easy enough.
I loved Chinese food, the kind I had eaten in restaurants, so I figured I’d start there and buy one good Chinese cookbook. At the bookstore, I discovered that one book had the Mongolian beef recipe, another had sesame chicken, and yet a different one had the potstickers. Each book had completely different instructions for sizzling rice soup—I had no way to tell which was right, and I couldn’t find the recipe for my favorite garlicky chicken drumettes anywhere. The single good cookbook I had imagined did not exist. And, besides, where were the pictures? How was I supposed to know what this stuff was supposed to look like without pictures?
I finally picked out two of the cookbooks. Between the two books, I had what looked to be simple and straightforward recipes for most of my favorite dishes. Then there was the matter of Mexican food, and Italian, and also Indian, and then dessert…
And so my cookbook collection began. But I wasn’t satisfied with sticking to recipes for long. The results didn’t always taste as I imagined they should, and my cravings weren’t always satisfied. I dreamed of being able to march into the kitchen and cook up exactly what I wanted when I wanted without being bound to recipes.
I decided to go to culinary school. It wasn’t any kind of career planning or the aspiration to become a chef. I was just very hungry.
And so, Hungry Cravings—and, in fact, all of my life’s work—grew from the desire for a single comprehensive collection of recipes to satisfy all of my cravings.
Hungry Cravings is a collection of my very best recipes, with step by step photos and/or videos, to satisfy any craving, along with information on ingredients, cooking equipment, knife skills, cooking methods and techniques, and all things food.
May all of your hungry cravings be satisfied here.