|Photo Credit: Tamara Beckwith (NY Post)|
Welcome to Mission: Food! My name is Victoria and I'm the mastermind behind this blog :) I started writing it in February 2009 and am still going strong. It's a big part of my life, and sometimes I find myself falling asleep to thoughts of blogging, and brainstorming new recipes and stories to include. I thought I would share a little more about me and my passions in case you are interested in getting to know the girl behind the blog… so here goes!
Ever since I was old enough to read and use kiddy scissors, I was indiscriminately cutting out recipes from magazines. My best guess is that I was about 6 years old. I used to keep my recipes in a manila folder. Eventually someone purchased for me a book with pockets to house recipes of various categories. I filled it with love until one day the book literally exploded.
My older sister had an Easy Bake Oven. One time we decided to bake cookies using one of the recipes provided in the included book. The recipe was called potato chip cookies, but all we had were nacho cheese Doritos. We substituted Doritos for the potato chips. And so began my cooking career. I learned then that nacho cheese Doritos were not a suitable substitute for potato chips.
My first cookbooks were given to me when I was in elementary school, early 1990s. I still have them. Now I have accumulated over 100 friends for them. I have run out of room on my bookshelf, and a large portion of my collection (mostly unused cookbooks) was retired to my basement until I acquire a much larger bookshelf. Someday, they will be reunited.
For about 90% of my cookbooks, I have personally typed up a table of contents for each book, which I have both on my computer and printed out. In case I want to find a recipe or get general ideas, I don't have to open them all up, but instead can look in my files, skim, and then pull which book I am seeking. I'm a huge crazy nerd, but this is what I love. Maybe I should be a librarian.
Years ago, my love of cooking and cookbooks got me a job at a nearby Williams-Sonoma. I worked there once a week and helped unload their shipments. The cookbook area in the back room was my special project. I organized it and made it beautiful, and would get angry if people messed it up. The employees there still remember me, and I visit them whenever I can. They love hearing my stories, haha.
Some of my favorite TV shows growing up included cooking shows… Julia Child, Yan Can Cook, Lynette Fisher, Graham Kerr, and Great Chefs on the Discovery Channel. This was years before the Food Network was even an apparition.
When I was in 8th grade, I brought in a notebook of my favorite recipes I had written down to show my home economics teacher. She returned it to me later with a note about how I was such a great little chef. I was pleased that she was impressed. I remember her class well. I wonder if she remembers me.
I recently made the decision to leave my past career and attend culinary school. It was a big change in my life, but I'm really glad I did it. My experience wasn't perfect, but it definitely got me on the right track. I hope that I'm finally on the right path and can find a rewarding career doing what I love.
Believe it or not, I was an incredibly picky eater as a child. I wouldn't eat anything green. This mainly referred to any dish containing herbs (I thought they tasted like paper), but all green food was fair game. My favorite food was cheeseburgers, and even in nice restaurants that was all I would order. My mom would have to cut my grown-up sized cheeseburgers into little pieces for me, because I was too small to actually bite into them!
I think for a while I may have been malnourished growing up. Because I refused to eat so many things, I was incredibly thin (my nickname was “skinny mini macaroni”) and I got sick all the time. My parents put me on vitamins and did everything they could to try and get me to be healthier. Till this day I don't eat a lot of fruit, but I do love my vegetables!
On the contrary, nowadays I consider myself to be a pretty adventurous eater. I've eaten all traditional meats (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, seafood) as well as veal, rabbit, duck, pheasant, quail, venison, alligator, ostrich, kangaroo, and wild boar. I am a carnivore.
I've always loved writing since I was very young. I used to write and illustrate short stories just for fun. I took creative writing classes in both high school and college and really enjoyed it. I wrote a lot of poetry during those years as well, and have even written a feature-length screenplay. It's based on a pretty amazing true story. A few screenwriters I worked with on a very famous television show read my script and really liked it. They proofread it for me and helped me tweak it. It's been on the back burner for years, but if you're a famous literary agent/producer I'd be happy to put it back on the front burner, hint hint ;-)
I had a whole other career before I started this blog. I studied film and television in college and spent about 4 1/2 years working in television before I decided to go to culinary school. Without naming names, I can guarantee that each and every one of you has seen at least one episode of one of the various shows where I worked. I have so many incredible stories and experiences from those years (meeting hundreds of celebrities, going to premiere parties, wrap parties, autographs galore)… some great, and some horrible. Hollywood is a tough town, and I'm actually really glad I left when I did, with my soul intact :-D
If I even began to share that deep dark world, some of the crazy things I had to do in the name of work (okay, nothing illegal, just demeaning and sometimes gross!), the things people have said to me, the things I have seen, it may shock a lot of people. I could go down that path, but I won't. My life is so much better now that I'm free of that influence. I also have this wonderful blog through which I can share my passion for food with my readers. I really hope you will continue to join me in my mission to find amazing restaurants and foods, create unique dishes, develop my palate, and explore this beautiful world.
I have since written articles for The Daily Meal and She Knows, I won the Rhode Island Monthly Ultimate Burger Contest, and I have been featured in The New York Post!
Feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, or requests! firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated March 2013
Updated March 2013