Musings from The Bon Bon Queen's Chaise Lounge

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Autobiography of a Foodie

Is one born a foodie or does one become a foodie? The question is one of those causality dilemmas like "Which first, the chicken of the egg?" My answer? "I don't really care; I like both!"

As a three-year-old, I spent countless hours playing in my toy kitchen. I had a mini-refrigerator, a tiny stove, and a wooden sink with no plumbing. As an eight-year-old, I coveted my cousin's Mini Bake Oven. In my teens, I moved into my mother's kitchen to bake cookies and cheesecakes and apple crumbles. Years later, I would rediscover a kitchen that reminded me of my first wooden toy kitchen. In my apartment in Paris. I had a college-sized refrigerator, a hot plate, and a sink that looked like the ones you find in airplane lavatories. But it was in that kitchen, that I created some of my most memorable meals. I quickly learned that the magic of food is not dependent on the latest sub-zero freezer and fire brick oven; it's about the ingredients, the chemistry, and that "je ne sais quoi" a person who truly adores food adds to the taste of even the simplest of meals.

I lived in Paris, I loved in Paris, and I eventually married a Frenchman from the restaurant world-take about a foodie's dream! For years, I worked for a cruise line and traveled to Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Israel, Mexico and lots of other countries where cuisine is king. I've eaten fish caught before my eyes in Mediterranean waters; I've sipped Madeira in Madeira; I've eaten Mejoul dates off the palm trees in Jordan; I've devoured warm croissants from the best bakeries in France. But, a food snob, I am not. I also love Hardee's hamburgers, Chick-Fil-A sandwiches slathered in mayonnaise, cream cheese icing straight from the can, Doritos, Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies, and on rare occasions, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.



I'll try anything once-including fried fish heads, a delicacy in Cyprus-and I like just about everything. The short list of things I just don't eat is pretty darn short: oysters, octopus, pig's feet, and those fried fish heads. Being a true Francophile, I do like escargots, pate, duck, rabbit, frog's legs, caviar, and stinky cheeses.



When I'm not eating food, I'm usually thinking about, talking about, or preparing whatever I'm going to eat next. My husband, Pascal, (a former maitre d' at the four-star restaurant Daniel Boulud in New York City) and I both love to cook, so we don't eat out as much as most Wilmington residents. But when we do......ooh la la! It is an event!



And, I shouldn't forget to tell you that our business is food: chocolate to be more specific; hand-dipped bon bons to be exact (http://www.southnfrance.com). When I'm not eating for my own pleasure, I'm making decadent desserts for your pleasure.



So that's a little intro about my life as a foodie. The icing on my seven-layer foodie cake. How I was born a foodie, or how I became one, and how I will certainly always be one. Rest assured that in my postings on this blog I'll be sharing recipe and food-related philosophy with lots of input from my Frenchie husband about everything culinary right here in our own little corner of the world, Wilmywood.



A bientot!

Charlene, The Bon Bon Queen

South ‘n France, Inc.