An Oath to Noms

There are quite a few things in life to which I'm incredibly passionate about, sports, fashion, art/gaming (especially since joining the game studio), travel and probably the most important of them all, is food (also referred to as noms).

Between working multiple projects throughout all hours of each day, it's rare that I can take long vacations, so frequently throughout the year I'll take off to various favorite cities to enjoy the sights and re-discover wonderful places to eat, shop and enjoy.  To be honest, no matter where I travel to I do a lot of the same things and often times that doesn't include touristic centric explorations.  I think Anthony Bourdain from No Reservations on the Travel Channel said it best when he visited Greece "When most people visit here they head line up to see the ruins, no thanks! I'll save that for the Discovery Channel...I want to see and experience the place I'm in."

My recent trips to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle and Edmonton and upcoming planned trips to Toronto, New York, Las Vegas and Chicago have re-invigorated my passion towards the experience in eating. Between flying in and out of places, forever working and everything else in our busy lives, we rarely "live to eat" and instead settle for "eating to live."

For Anthony Bourdain's 100th episode (also my inspiration for writing this homage to noms), he takes us back to where it all began, Paris.  During a dinner with Eric Ripert, he reflects on the experience of dining, Karma and wonders if he'd be condemned in his old age to spending nights lining up at TGIF asking for more "bacon bits." Between discussing culinary traditions and modern shifts in dining, the common thread was that with time, the dining experience is changing.  While meals may no longer consume 3 hours of the day and the quality in fine dining is now being brought to the people, the personal experience and relationships surrounding our food are also changing. 

The root moral to this story is a reflection upon many things in this one life we live, we just don't experience or enjoy things enough.  Both my travels and watching this episode brought me to question why more people don't care more about what they consume and what happened to the personal details connected to our food? Does your butcher know you? Can he answer questions about who killed your cow, what your cow ate or what state it came from?  Why don't we have more independent mom and pop type restaurants, each with their clever niche to dishes?

While I agree that sometimes a 20pc box of chicken nuggets or getting a Sub for around $5 bucks, absolutely hits the spot, I think we all need to get a little more personal with our food and what we choose to consume.  I damn myself sometimes when I line up in an assembly line and pay for a Subway sandwich that I can make better by 10 folds. During the consumption process I'll have thoughts like, man this would be better with toasted basil or imagine a bit of Paprika and Arugula instead of lettuce.

This isn't to say that I think life is about five course meals at five star restaurants because I'm not about bourgie dining and pretentious attitudes.  Some of my favorite places have less than 10 tables, grimey bathrooms that sit next to the kitchen and simply serve home cooked style meals.

People will spend so much money and time on their clothes, cars and fancy shiny things, yet skimp out the ingredients that they put inside their body. I once told my friend who was criticizing me for being crazy for driving to L.A to satisfy a food craving, and paying extra for freshly made pasta at the Italian markets, that if I'm going to spend what I do (time/money) on my shoes and purses, I believe what I eat should receive even more consideration. Which would explain why 90% of my tweets and facebook posts are always about food.

To good nomming!

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