Your Flavorful World: Taste It
If you’re reading this, then you, my friend, have been chosen, and from now until mid-December, will number among a uniquely-endowed readership and voting populace. To entertain and inform you for that duration and beyond will be my unparalleled honor.
This blog posting marks my first of ten scheduled entries as a contestant in Foodbuzz.com’s Project Food Blog. With nearly 2,000 bloggers crossing keyboards in pursuit of a $10,000 grand prize and year-long featured status with Foodbuzz.com, I obviously have my work cut out for me. Despite daunting odds, I jumped at the opportunity to toss my hat into the ring. This I did not only because I own lots of other hats, but because as the father of Flavorful World food and drink blog, I wear them all regularly, and wear them well.
Project Food Blog’s inaugural challenge asks me who I am, and what qualities my blog and I possess that make me a credible contender for the title of Food Blog Star.
I am a writer who eats. I am an eater who writes. I am a man in whom culinary experimentation was encouraged at a young age. My happiest childhood memories are of being a toddler with kind parents, both of whom didn’t just cook, but could throw down in the kitchen and were always willing to let me help their efforts by mixing ingredients, adding spices, and tasting each creation’s progress as we worked. The scope of my kitchen duties grew as I did. Soon I was chopping and seasoning unsupervised, using the stove, and creating simple recipes. As a young man growing up in New York City, that early food interest soon drove me beyond my own gastronomic backyard in search of cuisines exciting for being unfamiliar to me. The first time I tasted Thai food, Indian food, perfectly-grilled duck…these are experiences that shaped the person I’ve become. Without them, there would be no Flavorful World. This food blog exists to benevolently fly in the face of every person who, likely considering themselves a fearsome wit, has ever blustered, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”
To this sentiment I respectfully respond: “Nonsense.”
The implied criminality in “living to eat” (that is, in displaying what some would consider an elevated appreciation for edibles) remains beyond my understanding. People caution against it as if therein lies some character deficiency to which persons of quality should not sink, as if perceived excesses in enjoyment of one’s eating experiences denote misguided priorities. But I believe that only persons of quality truly understand the simple joy of biting into summer’s first ripened peach. Only those whose priorities are straight can know the real value of the moment you realize, upon sampling and loving a new dish, that you’ve just gained a source of gustatory bliss to revisit for the rest of your life.
Sharing this broader perspective through writing, photography, original recipes, and more is what Flavorful World is about; because food is capable of feeding far more than a rumbling stomach. Food is life; our well-being demands it. Food is art and magic; it evokes emotion and colors memory, and in skilled hands, meals become greater than the sum of their ingredients. Food is self-evident; plucked right from the ground or vine or sea, its power to delight is immediate. Food is discovery; finding an untried spice or cuisine is for me like uncovering a new element. Food is evolution; how we interpret it remains ever fluid. Food is humanitarian: sharing it bridges cultures, making friends of strangers pleasantly surprised to learn how much common ground they ultimately share.
A final example of what justifies my contest participation: When I was in the first grade, my teacher once presented my class with a confidence-building exercise. She called on us individually, challenging each child to complete the sentence, “I know I’m alive because I can…”
When my answer was given, my classmates all laughed at what I said.
My honest response? “I know I’m alive because I can cook.”
I was six years old.
That is who I am.
And that’s what sets me apart from my fellow competitors, people for whom I have the utmost respect, as they are and will always be my brethren.
My name is Anthony Beal. My world is flavorful.
I live to eat.
Voting opens on September 20th, 2010. If this entry has inspired you to honor me with your vote, please accept my sincerest gratitude and by all means, share it with a friend. If you didn’t care for it, then by all means, share it with an enemy. You can cast your vote at http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/contestants/953/