I used to be that person who wrote down New Year’s Resolutions every year…
Sometimes I’d seal them in an envelope and open it on New Year’s Day the following year. Some of my resolutions had been forgotten, some unfulfilled and others were a success. All in all, I was experiencing the same pressure and disappointments as millions of other Americans who try to reinvent and better their lives every year.
The thing is, I’ve really never done things like everyone else. So why was I conforming to this ridiculous routine?
I’ve had many resolutions (goals) and some of my most treasured achievements were never written on a resolution list. Last year I sat down and wrote my “Life List,” an ever evolving and changing set of goals that are as varied as singing karaoke for the first time (still practicing), to diving the Great Barrier Reef. My point is that one year cannot hold all your wishes and life’s winding road means making room for wishes not yet wished.
My love of food and cooking means that many things on my life list revolve around all things culinary.
Here is a snippet of my life list, under the category of “Culinary.”
Someone’s home in Italy
To roll sushi
Take a class in knife skills
Take a Thai cooking class in Thailand
How to peel an artichoke
Perfect my grandmother’s angel food cake and Povitica
Saber a bottle of champagne
Sushi in Japan
Dinner in my home prepared by a professional chef
A drink in the cocktail bar of the Park Hyatt Tokyo
Toasting in the New Year on Jost Van Dyke
Here are a few things that I wish had been on my life list, but nonetheless, I consider fantastic experiences.
Which only goes to show, sometimes life unfolds in spectacular ways that cannot be defined or anticipated on a piece of paper.
*** A deep sea fishing trip that resulted in the catch being prepared by a world class chef that evening.
*** Redefined my idea of outstanding chorizo at a sidewalk cafe in Barcelona.
*** Growing gardens as a child would later change my perspective of produce for the better.
*** Ditched my itinerary in Dubrovnik, Croatia to spend the day in dining, site seeing and eating with a local.
*** Learned the art of slowing down (no “fast food” exists) to enjoy my food in Nice, France.
*** Enjoyed the most amazing lobster of my life off a paper plate on a beach in Belize.
*** Realizing that the U.S. Nobu restaurants could never match the ultimate sensory experience of Matsuhisa in Mykonos, Greece.
Finally succumbing to the pressure of eating guacamole and as a result, comparing guacamoles all over the country for taste and texture.
St. Tropez set me on an obsession with Burrata that I feel I will have for the rest of my days.
Snacking on bacon as a bar snack while waiting for my table at Prime One Twelve in Miami.
The Dining Room at The Ritz Carlton in San Francisco served to remind me that there are numerous transcendent experiences waiting for me and reaffirmed my goal to work even harder, so that I might live them all.
Rum punch and beer drinking wild boars at Ship Channel Cay in the Bahamas. Nuff said.
A Serendipity cocktail at The Bar Hemingway– Hotel Ritz, Paris, 30 €. Meeting two Irish chicks that would later drink us under the table and lead us to a sweet underground dance club. Priceless.
Really tasting pasta for the first time at Babbo in NYC.
The joy of creating and cooking for a home dinner party.
Having my first taste of foie gras seated next to an original Picasso at Picasso’s restaurant in Las Vegas. A surreal experience for sure.
My first In-N-Out Burger at 1:30 am post Hollywood Hills house party. Sealed the deal for me on top fast food burger.
Learning foreign languages by researching the phrases necessary for ordering drinks and food prior to traveling.
Learning sometimes the people you are with can transform a mediocre meal into something spectacular.