All times of the day I am constantly thinking about food. I am sassy, opinionated and will call you on the carpet if I don’t like something.
Born in the Philippines, I was brought up by my mother, grand parents, aunts and uncles. My “Lola” (a common name used in the Philippines for grandmother) was very instrumental in my love for food. Lola had a small little restaurant, a “Carinderia” where I would watch her prepare Filipino food. Lola did not go to cooking school, but she had the knack for cooking. At times the patrons would request she cook something from their country. She would ask what the ingredients were and prepare it. Somehow, she was able to capture the dish that was requested and they would come back for more, inviting their friends to eat in the “Carinderia.” Watching Lola work in the kitchen, I never thought I would pick up her techniques and trust my taste buds to create or enhance some of the dishes I have tasted. We came to the U.S. as I was approaching my teenage years and settled in Buffalo, NY. It was there that I started to experience and prepare food since my mother did not know how to cook.
My professional background is Finance. I never attended cooking school. All my cooking skills are all because of watching my Lola, cooking shows, movies, cookbooks, magazines (Food and Wine, Gourmet, and Bon Appetite) and some cooking classes. Trust me; I have had disastrous meals where friends politely will tell me that the food was good. Sometimes when I am at church, I notice my mind drifting to: what can I make for dinner as I am listening to the homily. What wine should I open…appetizer…what should I get at Trader Joe’s or Whole Food Market. How can I make a pain free appetizer without spending too much time in the kitchen? At times, I am so hungry and eager to eat, I tend to devour the food so quickly that I don’t get a chance to enjoy every single bite and enjoy the wine.
I love to eat, collect wine and try restaurants around the globe whenever I have the opportunity. I will drive miles to try out food, restaurants, visit markets that I’ve read about or watched in movies or on the Food Network, Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’, ‘Bizzare Foods’ with Andrew Zimmern, Man vs. Food, and PBS cooking shows. To love food as much as I do can be difficult since I am constantly on a diet. I think I have a weight problem, but other people don’t feel the same way I do. I have learned how to enjoy food and keep my weight down. I will tell you my insane way of losing weight. I will share some of the recipes I have created to be healthy. Maybe we can all eat good food and still stay on track with our weight. I plan to share both my triumphs and defeats.
I have to thank my niece Dawn who has encouraged me to write about my love of food and wine.
Julia & Julie