Increased heart rate, a buzz of ideas in my brain, fidgety-fingers; all symptoms of thinking about the next meal I’m going to make for someone. I enjoy the process of turning each page in my cookbook or scouring the internet for the perfect recipe that my guests might love. I get energy from introducing new cuisine to someone from curries to quinoa; it gets my blood pumping.

This cooking project that I’m beginning, is getting closer, and I’m itching to begin. The scope of this is relatively straight-forward. I am choosing four to five cookbooks that span the techniques I want to learn from chefs I admire. Of course, Chef Eric Ripert is a large part of this project and it’s a great thing I love seafood because there will be a LOT of it.  I’m also going to be using recipes from America’s Test Kitchen- the standard on technique and from there I will cover everything from cheese soufflé’s to Chicken Provencal. As an homage to Julia Child some recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking will make an appearance as well.

I’m excited to dive into making homemade pasta and bread and even tackling the dreaded dessert chapters. I don’t expect everything to be perfect nor everything to be great, but the goal is to learn and improve and most importantly, to make time for something I am passionate about and to share that passion with my family and friends. Truly, cooking IS love you can taste and that is my favorite thing about it. I’ve spent my life trying new things because I believe a person shouldn’t just be one thing. Sometimes people paint themselves into a corner and to label themselves as “I’m this”. I believe it should be I’m this and that and also a bit of this, too. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived many lives already. I’ve been an English teacher, an ID Manager for an airline, a student, an IT Consultant, an HR Manager and an Executive Assistant. But throughout all that change what’s been consistent is that I’ve always wanted to learn and grow and experience and be the best version of myself that I can be. This cooking challenge is a part of that and I’m so excited to see what it’ll all look like when I’m finished with it a year from now.

Monday I will be releasing the cookbooks I’m working from and by Wednesday the first dish will be made. Tongs crossed it all goes well.