Above: A digital collage I made in 2009 titled Sharing a Pizza. A very Sci-fi piece... At this time I was wondering what the future of "eating" will be like.
"Eating" is one act I ponder upon like a grave philosophical inquisition every day.
I really started thinking about what it means to eat when I began a relationship with my boyfriend three years ago. He's a chef from Italy with an exquisite palate and one who is wholeheartedly in love with cooking. There's never a day he goes without cooking; if he's not cooking in the kitchen at a restaurant, he's cooking at home or someone else's home; if he doesn't have anything to cook with, he's thinking of what to cook. And the certified Italian wine specialist he is, at bedtime he always reads about wine. I admire such geekdom. What makes him excel at his expertise is how avid and studious he is to understand the language of the culinary arts and with all appreciation, I've been fortunate to taste a whole spectrum of his dishes from cheddar soup made from Ruffles potato chips to the most traditional Italian feasts that have become memorable to many he's shared them with.
M.F.K. Fisher, one of the most notable food writers of our time famously said "Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly." This I find to be true. Through all the eating and drinking of well-made food and and wine I've experienced in the past years, I have a firm ground to say with definition that the act of sharing food with others should be taken as a serious act of pleasure--serious pleasure!--because eating together is essentially to share bits of life together. And to me at least, that's beyond intimate; it's pretty darn spiritual.
It matters what one shares with others and how it's shared and this isn't limited to food. The same goes for how one communicates with one another. For instance, I do make it a conscious choice to be aware of how I say what I say or express how I feel whether verbally or literally to the best of my reasoning (because sometimes I just want to punch a colossal hole in the wall or kiss someone or something which is another kind of statement), and in the same token I want to be aware of what I choose to put in my mouth and how to make that experience most pleasurable. It's only when I started experiencing the best with people whom understand and truly appreciate the best that I started to see what it means to eat well and what effect it takes on the body and spirit when you do so. The best doesn't mean eating at Osteria Mozza all the time, which by the way is always superb. It can mean grabbing a memela from a truck at midnight or eating a big bowl of buffalo chicken wings while watching a new season of Breaking Bad. A piece of chocolate chip cookie with coffee in the morning can start the day so happily. For me, what the best means is relative to what makes me and/or others happy at that moment. It's an entirely intuitive choice that I indulge in, and this is the only thing that separates itself from my choice in speech and writing which is more about reasoning through logic.
Anyway, let me end by putting this briefly. If what you choose to eat or what you have been choosing to eat makes you feel shitty, drop it; eat less, stop completely or change the way you eat it. At least I'd say loud and clear, choose to eat what feeds your soul. Better if you share the pleasure in good company and some exceptional wine because days and nights like that can become totally epic.
Here are some restaurants in Southern California that I absolutely love for one or many reasons: