I am trying to recall that moment in life when it all started, this food adventure of mine.
I am not one of those people who can say: “Oh, I always knew I loved to cook. It was my mother who taught me. The early memories of her being in the kitchen and baking a pie, flour dust flying in the air, inspired me to be what I am today…” Not my scenario. I do remember my mom always being in the kitchen but so does every person born in Russia. It is simply not common to eat outside; you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at home.
Neither did I have an amazing dining experience that changed my life forever and opened my eyes on the world of food. It wasn’t a revelation.
I think first it was more of a childish fantasy. I thought that I want to have my own little café with warm flaky pastries and good coffee. A cute cozy place where I would know all the regulars by name, walk in between the tables asking people how their day is and if they are enjoying the croissant au chocolat this morning. Not that I made a single croissant at that point of my life. This idea was just sleeping quietly somewhere in the back of my mind but I never really thought of it seriously. That would be the very first memory.
The next memory brings me to the sunny beach of Sri Lanka. It’s the 1st of January and I am sitting on sand enjoying the view of ocean and the sound of waves. Next to me is a guy from Hong Kong who I have met the day before, going on and on about crabs that are running around our wet sandy feet. And when he is done with crabs he starts telling me about sharks. And those crab and shark stories, no matter how crazy it might sound now, were really captivating because he was telling it with such passion that I could see his eyes light up. He wants to become a biologist and this is what he studies in University. One day he is going to become one. That simple: you love something – you do it.
I was sitting there and thinking to myself that such a simple idea never actually occurred to me. Until he asked: “If you could do anything at all what would it be? What would make you wake up and feel happy?”
“Making puff pastry would, having that little café I jokingly thought of a couple of years ago would” – was my answer.
“So just do it…”
I have never seen that guy again but I still remember that dialogue.
Of course it wasn’t all that easy and I didn’t quit my job to become a pastry chef the very next day. It’s been five years now and I still don’t have that little café, to be honest, I am not even sure anymore that I want a café. What I do know, though, is that I am fascinated by the world of food and I want to learn everything there is about it. In these five years I went from a vague idea of becoming a cook to taking a course in culinary school with French chef to decorating cakes to having my own little home bakery and, finally, to starting this blog.
I still feel like I am in the beginning of a long road and I have so much more to learn. So that’s exactly what I am going to do: learn by travelling and experiencing diverse cuisines of faraway cities and countries, learn from people who love to cook whether it is in their home kitchen or in a kitchen full of professional equipment, learn by reading, learn by trying, and making mistakes on the way. You are very welcome to embark on this journey with me.
AUTHOR: YULIA DYUKOVA
Yulia is a Russian food and travel blogger who found home first in Sri Lanka for 3 years, then in Brazil for a year and is currently based in Austin, Texas. She is the kind of person who starts a research of the new country by googling “what to eat in…” instead of “what to visit in…” Yulia is a self-proclaimed “food nerd” who will spend hours reading on the origins of pecan pie before trying it and who doesn’t consider waiting in line of 50 people to get a cronut a waste of time. She finds it hard to keep her delicious findings to herself and that is the reason why this blog exists.