Saturday, September 13, 2008

Manifesto # 2 - Umami Mama Blog Guide


It occurred to me that there are a great many things I wish to write about. You've noticed my titles and numbering system I've started, and last night (or, early this morning because I can't sleep) I came up with a system to classify things and hopefully make it easier for you (and myself) to keep track of everything.

There will be seven categories, each pertaining to a specific theme on the subject of Food. I will list and explain each, in no particular order.

1. GUILTY PLEASURES - These posts deal with those secret, desperate, wild instances where food, obsession and hedonism have crashed full force in a frenzy of unashamed debauchery. Think of eating a whole bag of pork rinds and finishing off with a tub of ice cream AND six pack of beer. It could be worse.

2. PHILOSOPHICAL MUSINGS - These posts deal with my observations on Food through cultural, religious, socio-economic, historical, and political viewpoints. One of my favorite books ever is "In the Devil's Garden" by Stewart Lee Allen, and it was reading this book that inspired me to explore this style of food writing. Read it!

3. GASTRONOMIC CONCEPTS - These posts act as a reference guide where I will define ideas, techniques, and give history on concepts such as umami (what is it?) and terroir (wtf is that?) and sushi grade 1++ (huh?) to name a few.

4. HACK OF ALL TRADES - These posts will share tricks that professional cooks know from years of, let's face it, making mistakes and having to cover their asses, such as, "What do you do when you're cooking fish and the skin is sticking to the pan and you can't turn it over?" I know what to do, but do you? Heh heh heh!

5. MOOD FOOD - These posts will give recipes for those times that you need a little extra care. Think of things like chicken soup for when you're sick, what do you eat when you got a hangover, or "My boyfriend/girlfriend/partner broke up with me and I wanna eat something to make me feel better!" kind of recipes. Alcoholic beverages will be included.

6. FOOD CONSCIOUSNESS - These posts will serve as a documented oral history of what I call a person's Food Consciousness. By this, I mean every encounter with food that a person has had in their entire life (birthday cakes, passover, religious fasting, McDonalds Happy Meals, Halloween candy) and what that has done to shape their current culinary tastes. Food Consciousness can also describe the collective birth of a food trend or lifestyle adopted by many (food rationing during WWII, Slow Food, Vegetarianism). I will start off with mine, and I hope to get guest writers to share their own.

7. A COOK'S LIFE - These posts will share my personal experiences as a professional line cook at a fine dining restaurant. This is my current, full-time profession and I feel it gives a unique perspective on Food as not only something "Yummy and fun!" to eat, but to expose its white collar/blue collar dichotomy as a very stressful, disciplined, conscientious and rewarding experience.
There will also be a label entitled "Manifesto", which will have any general information involving the blog as a whole (Inaugural Post and this guide will be found here) and a "Best of Umami Mama" label which will highlight favorite postings . As my archive grows you will be able to search under "Labels" by the seven categories. I also welcome readers to write in with questions that I may be able to help answer, or if they have funny stories they want to share that fit into the categories. Contact info can be viewed in my complete profile on the right.

I've been working almost 3 years as a professional cook, having changed careers from the entertainment industry. I also have degrees in Philosophy and Cinema. When I started up this blog, I was reminded that I wanted to be a responsible writer on this vast subject. For me, Food means everything; it shapes our religions, has caused wars, defines our aesthetics, and determines our survival. I've spent enough time stewing with these ideas in my head, so here they come. Hope you enjoy reading....


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