I've been wanting to write a post reflecting on my relationship with food over the past several years of cooking. Here we are.
These days, the phrase "from the gross to the subtle" is never too far from my heart. As we move with intention through the world, our experiences shift from gross to subtle. Our awareness sharpens, and we become more attuned to the nuances present in the day to day.
I have noticed my awareness sharpening as it relates to my culinary offerings. I think back to how I related to food ten years ago. I would check the ingredient list and felt satisfied if there were no additives. It didn't occur to me to wonder where the food came from, or when it was last a live plant or animal. I just cared that the ingredients were "clean."
Several years ago, I shifted to consuming mainly organic foods (a huge privilege in and of itself). I felt that if there was a USDA stamp of organic approval, then that was a step up from the foundation of clean ingredients I'd previously operated from.
Now, I feel myself in the midst of another shift. Organic is wonderful, and we should all have access to foods that are grown without harmful pesticides. However, I am starting to feel like it's not enough. Our foods are only as healthy as the soils they're grown in. If our "organic" food is grown in soil that is fundamentally devoid of nutrients, then our foods will not have the nutrients our bodies require.
I am wondering what it looks like to think beyond that which is merely sustainable. I am wondering what a private chef business could look like if I only cooked with ingredients that are local, seasonal, and grown by farmers who value regenerative practices.
I don't know if it's possible, but I'm dreaming of a summer spent canning, preserving, and pickling local foods. Of a winter where offerings are local meats, root vegetables, delicious squash dishes, and that which has been preserved from the summer.
I believe in contemplation before action. To truly allow ourselves to be with the dreams without attachment to how they will unfold. This is a glimpse into the dreams I'm with these days: a dream that honors the journey from the gross to the subtle.