My kitchen is perhaps the most vital element of my soul. Procuring farm-fresh produce and preparing it for others is how I write my love letter to the world. Spending time in the kitchen, for me, is both a meditation and an artistic act. The creation of a meal–the time spent chopping scallions, using a nutcracker to remove walnut meat from its shell, or tending to a pot of fair-trade brown rice and red lentils–nourishes in me a peace that passeth understanding. It’s a quiet hour in which I reflect on the sun and rain and soil; I feel grateful for the farm workers tending the fields and harvesting the earth’s bounty; and I offer-up my gratitude and joy by transforming their labors into a delicious, healthy meal for the people I love. Food creates meaning, place, and culture.
The other night, I had over to my Mitte-Prenzlauer border apartment my friend Francys–he’s a Brazilian expatriate who now resides in Berlin and one of the dearest, most-soulful men I know. The best sort of cooking, for me, is off-the-cuff—-my own version of improvisational jazz which, when done right, is a combination of science and poetry. What’s more, it’s a homemade, DIY gift to friends! Like a birthday bash and Christmas all rolled into one, in August.