My grandmother’s recipes call for cream of mushroom soup, home canned tomatoes and Jello. Her recipes use a Cool Whip container as a form of measurement. Her recipes only list the ingredients because the rest was just plain common sense.

She spent her life raising babies, tending the garden, preserving food, and keeping a house. There was not time for creativity. Food was not fancy – it was functional and hearty. She was feeding the men who were feeding the country.

I did not grow up in my grandmother’s kitchen. I wish I had. Even at a young age, I could tell that the kitchen of a farmer’s wife was important and good. I loved being in that space surrounded by the energy of many hands busy at work. I liked when I got to hear a snippet of family gossip not meant for my ears or would get to lick a sweet spoon. But I never paid attention to what was being made and the specific preparations required. The art of rolling out noodles or knowing the texture of the dough, things that can only been taught through doing, were lost to me.

It was not until I was grown, starting my own family, that I began to rethink cooking and the experience that eating could be. I got to know my husband, and push the comfort zone of our taste buds, at the tables of some great chefs. They inspired me and influenced my own table.

The more I learned all that I didn’t know about cooking, the more I mourned the hours obliviously spent in my grandmother’s kitchen. But there was one thing that had sunk in  – the value of feeding the ones you love and the community created by sharing a meal. Sharing an experience.

I am motivated to capture that experience – the emotion surrounding food and the community it creates. From farm, to kitchen, to table, each step is an intimate community collaborating in creating great culinary experiences and I want to help tell those stories.