TRUST YOUR GUT. It’s what I tell friends when they ask for advice. It’s what I tell myself when I’m on the fence and a decision feels just out of reach. For me, listening to that voice of instinct and intuition that lives inside is the single best thing we can do to lead healthier, happier lives. I find I do my best listening in the kitchen.
It makes sense that my intuition lives not in my head, but in my stomach since my life has long been governed by food. While other kids were playing with their Easy Bake Ovens, I was belly-up to the real thing trying not to burn myself on the stove. I am, and always have been, a dreamer, an eater, a storyteller and a cook. True, some call me a “chef” since I have made my living for over a decade feeding people. But I am a non-traditional-self-starter kind of chef that doesn’t fit neatly into a box. I didn’t go to culinary school. I didn’t stage in a famous restaurant. That would have been fun but it wasn’t in the cards for me.
Instead, I’ve just always cooked. My first memories in the kitchen were as a child, propped up on a stool, tearing lettuce for the obligatory salad that accompanied all of our family dinners. For me, cooking didn’t come from a place of rules and recipes. It came from a place of creativity. I would mix and muddle and mash things together until they tasted good. Only years later did I learn the techniques that form the foundation of the culinary world and became a better cook for it. But by and large I figured things out for myself. I trusted my gut.
I’ve always relied on my instincts. Some people ask their parents for advice, some look to teachers for guidance, some people pray. I look inward. While this has helped shaped my life in interesting ways and even saved my life a number of times (more on that when we know each other better), it has also shaped me as a cook. My hope is that this blog will encourage you to trust your instincts in the kitchen, and in life, too….you may be surprised where they take you.
This blog is about sharing the wit and wisdom that has helped me along my way and inspiring people to lead happier lives in and out of the kitchen. It’s a place for creativity, foolishness, experimentation and fun. What kind of food do I eat? What kind of recipes do I write? All kinds. Here is more about the basic food beliefs that guide me in my kitchen.
I’m excited to share my love of food and the way I cook with all of you and hope to build a community of shared stories, recipes and fun.
more about my work at www.TajiMarie.com.