Cooking begins with core ingredients: perhaps a cauliflower or fine fish, a chunk of bittersweet chocolate, a package of farro that’s been lingering in a cupboard. Next come decisions about preparation, seasonings, plating, all in pursuit of a goal that may change along the way.
Building a culinary business follows a similar pattern. With food and language as fundamentals, I’ve whipped up a career that brings fresh discoveries and experiences every day.
For me, Italian regional cooking is both a professional specialty and a deeply ingrained style of cooking. Day in, day out, it’s part of my life and the focus of Tavola Talk, my new blog about the pleasures of eating Italian anywhere.
My work as an author of cookbooks calls for a regimen of research, recipe development and testing, and writing that is (I hope) clear and evocative. Articles and posts for magazines, newspapers and online publications demand the same skills, whether the topic is a particular dish, a culinary destination or a chef’s techniques.
I relish teaching participation and demo-style cooking classes. Sharing techniques and knowledge with students who are interested in the same things as me is not only energizing, but the interaction feeds the rest of my work. I find out which recipes people love and invariably come home with ideas on improving a dish or creating a new one.
Also in my culinary business mix: writing public relations and marketing materials to educate consumers about foods that deserve a larger audience. Most often, these are artisanal Italian products.
© 2006 Toni Lydecker; all rights reserved for site content, except for recipes and photos credited to others and used with their permission.
Seafood alla Siciliana
Winning Game Day Snacks
Pasta Making in Reggio Emilia
Sam Hayward is chef/partner of Fore Street, an award-winning restaurant in Portland, Maine. Long before the restaurant opened in 1996, Sam had begun to work directly with local farmers, foragers and fishermen. In 2008 he was named the first recipient of the Maine Culinary Award for lifelong contributions to the state’s food community. Sam talks here about Maine’s amazing food resources and what this place means to him.