I’ve noticed ever since I was young, and could formulate thoughts on my own, certain people’s interests and hobbies made them stand out. Everyone around me had their “thing”. They had something they were good at, something they were passionate about, or something they devoted all their time to. Of course, there were a handful of people like me who weren’t like that. However, growing up not knowing what my “thing” was, while most people around me did, was frustrating, to say the least. It took me a good while before I figured it out.
In elementary school, my thing could have been being a studious student, or reading. I had a due diligence for persistence and hard work. It showed. In middle school and high school, my thing could have been music. Since 6th grade, I would discover the flute and play for the 7 years to come. I even got good at playing the flute. Beginning of college, my thing could have definitely been my drive for neuroscience, and pursuing my medical degree. Although these “things” I was good at and known among my friends for, it didn’t fill me with the dual sense of obsession and happiness. I either experienced one of those components or none. I believe that both are necessary to lead a happy and purposeful life.
During my medical degree pursuit, I got the chance to live on my own and experiment with cooking. It started with a few simple recipes, a few of my mom’s recipes (the expert of cooking by the way), and careful reading of cookbooks. I started to gain the reputation among my apartment-mates of “The cook”. I was the most gourmet cook of their friends, the one who couldn’t make just one serving of food (but a whole pot), the one who got up at 2 am to cook, and who always left a bag of lemon chicken marinating in the fridge.
By the time the end of the school year ended (Sophomore year of college), I had stacks of cookbooks in my room, and I had discovered my “thing”. It definitely took me awhile to figure it out, but better late than never is what I always say.
Looking back, I think a lot of my upbringing influenced and almost groomed me into realizing this passion in college. As young as I can remember, I would always help my mom in the kitchen cook meals for our family. I would be her little assistant. I would get ingredients out, chop vegetables, and help her prepare dishes. While I helped, she would always take the opportunity to tell me about the reason she was doing something for that dish or cooking technique. For example, sticking the end of a wooden spoon into the oil of a pan to see if it sizzled (that would indicate the oil was hot enough). She had to tell me that one a few times before it stuck.
My mom was the cooking expert. She’s the kind of person that once she decides to learn something, she masters it. She becomes the best and knows everything about it. Well, cooking was no exception. She had a reputation among all our friends and family of being a fantastic and gourmet cook, even though it was all self-taught. She has a real knack. She could cook anything from pot roast and mac n cheese to kimchi and Bulgogi. She cooked dishes from all around the world. Italian, American, Mexican, Korean, Chinese and more. Growing up, you didn’t get your regular steak and potatoes. It varied all the time, and with Asian emphasis. She could make anyone fall in love with a food or dish they previously didn’t like. That’s how good she was—and still is.
Looking back, I know she had a huge influence on me. When I started cooking for myself in college, I realized I knew quite a lot for a beginner cook. I could take all the advice I had gotten living at home and apply it in my new kitchen. Albeit it didn’t make me a gourmet chef right off the bat. I still wouldn’t grace myself with that title. However, I believe it gave me a necessary jumpstart. I have gone far and have learned a lot, but I have much more to learn and master.
Now in my Senior year of college, it has only been three years since I have started this journey. Along with developing a passion for cooking, health and fitness also joined with it. I exercised more frequently and with greater purpose and tact starting Sophomore year. I started reading more on nutrition and how powerful food can be to heal and energize the body. I started to eat better because of it. All of these elements play a prominent influencer on my cooking. Although making mac n cheese or baking croissants is so much fun and it’s delicious, you can’t do it every day to lead a healthy and sustainable life. I do still cook those things to enjoy and learn more about cooking, but my emphasis is on anything that brings health and energy.
With this blog in particular, that’s what I want to focus on. I want to focus on providing recipes that are not only delicious in taste, but easy to prepare and extremely nutritious. We don’t live to eat, but eat to nourish our body and mind. I will do my best to showcase that in my recipes and articles. Along with recipes, I want to supply you with knowledge about how the food you’re eating is affecting you. What to do to maximize your health through food and how to live sustainability in both health and in harmony to the environment. Although I am not a certified nutritionist or have no formal education in nutrition, I have educated myself in the area, and hope to provide what I know to you. I will also continue to learn and grow in my knowledge of nutrition to further yours and my confidence in food. I will also provide “Kitchen Basics” or lessons on beginner concepts of cooking in order to provide you with a means to gain those skills necessary to explore new foods and flavors. Overall, I hope to provide a fun and educating place for you to experience the joys of food.
Come join me and let’s learn and explore food together!