“Mom,” Vera groans, “why do you keep frosting those cupcakes? Can’t we just eat them already?” I smile at her. “Don’t you want them to look pretty?” I ask, and in a flash I am transported to my own mother’s kitchen.
Growing up the only child of a food stylist, I spent an inordinate amount of time at my mother’s side, helping her create all manner of delectable things to eat. To say that my mother was obsessed with everything culinary would be an understatement. The kitchen in each house we lived was a bubbling, simmering, den of palatable alchemy, around which it seemed, our entire lives revolved.
I was born in 1978, right in the center of a veritable food revolution. Chefs like Julia Child and Alice Waters were taking the world by storm, and my mother followed right along, roasting chickens, folding egg whites for soufflés and growing fresh herbs and vegetables in her garden. She taught me how to hold a sautée pan just so, how to chop an onion so my eyes wouldn’t water, and how to roll out the perfect pate brisée. But she also taught me that food couldn’t just taste good; it had to look good too.
…Read the rest of this essay online in Issue 5 of Who’s Hungry Magazine. Oh, and get ready to see some of the most incredible food photography you’ve ever seen. Of all the things I’ve ever published, I think my mother might be most proud of this one.